Sculptor shares journey behind Washington D.C. monument

A full house at Kent Community Center, July 6, heard from WWI monument sculptor Sabin Howard.

Gavin Marr

Sculptor shares journey behind Washington D.C. monument

KENT — Greeted by the skirl of bagpipes, eager veterans and townspeople gathered to hear Sabin Howard, the sculptor commissioned to create a new WWI monument in Washington D.C., speak about his creative process at the Kent Community Center Saturday, July 6.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Roger Sherman Chapter provided food for the event and served beverages courtesy of Kent Wine and Spirit. Members of the Kent American Legion also assisted the operation.

Brent Kallstrom, manager of the Kent American legion drew the focus of the crowd to the front of the room to commence the presentation.

“We couldn’t do this without the Kent Art Association as well as the Kent Historical Society for putting together all of this great information,” said Kallstrom regarding artifacts accompanied by text about their historical significance placed around the perimeter room.

Kallstrom called upon descendants of WWI veterans to stand and be recognized. After applause rang through the building, Kallstrom regained attention from the crowd and Sabin Howard was introduced, “We’re honored tonight to host this extraordinary master sculptor, Americans, I give you Sabin Howard.”

Howard began by talking about his roots in both New York City and Italy. He explained how his multicultural background had profound implications on his artistic process during the project. He delved into his approach to sculpting the monument, drawing not only inspiration but cultural knowledge from his Italian identity.

“I have been in a battle in the fight against modernism since day one, I just didn’t know it,” Howard said, while speaking expressively about his relationship with the modernist path the art world and the world itself has been set on.

“This is the sculpture itself and is sixty feet long, weighs 25 tons and has 38 fingers in it. But those are just the facts. The important revolutionary thing here is a visual narrative that tells a story, and it’s a story about human beings,” said Howard, distilling the complexity of the project into a bite-sized summary.

Keeping the human element in artistic endeavors was a common theme throughout the presentation. His use of veterans as models for the monument captures the physical effects of war.

Following the end of the presentation, Howard invited audience members to ask him questions. Dozens of visibly elated attendees obliged and met him in the front of the room.

When asked about how spending years examining and replicating the horrors of war has changed him fundamentally, Howard said that he has become, “Very untrusting of bureaucracy and government.”

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