April 25, 1997
King Sculpture Nameplate Replaced
Some 25 years after its construction, a nameplate has been replaced on a commissioned piece of art work at UW-River Falls dedicated to civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr." was commissioned by the class of 1968 as a graduation gift to the institution, and constructed by art Professor Douglas L. Johnson.
The 10-foot-high metal structure of welded steel is formed as a large, earth-shaped sphere. A straight cylinder at the top was created by Johnson to suggest the scales of justice. Welded into the sphere's surface are quotations from King's speeches.
According to Johnson, this is the third nameplate placed on the sculpture. The first was stolen when the sculpture was vandalized during the turbulent 1970s. The second nameplate was lost during a campus clean-up in preparation for the arrival of new Chancellor Gary A. Thibodeau in 1985.
The new nameplate-etched by graphics Professor Bernice Ficek-Swenson-has been inset in the sculpture's concrete base and will hopefully remain as long as the sculpture exists.
Johnson pursued replacing the nameplate as he nears the end of his last semester at UW-RF before his retirement.