Installation at Perry Harvey Park in Tampa. Memorial to seven African American Leaders from the historic Central Avenue neighborhood. The portraits are made from multiple layers of hand cut aluminum offset from each other and coated with a two part marine grade epoxy to form the likeness of the individual. They are lit from below and behind with continuous strip LEDs creating a warm glow. The concrete walls were custom designed and poured for this installation and have supporting historical imagery that tells the story of each individual and their contributions to the neighborhood. The imagery is sandblasted into the concrete then stained with rubberized monument paint. The park now sits on the land where the main avenue once existed. Specifically, my installation was right on top of the site of the actual central avenue. This was a great opportunity to bring to light the contributions and importance of these individuals and their culture. I was able to work alongside the families of these individuals to respectfully represent their impact. After immersing myself with the families and people that had spent the best years of their lives in this location, the piece became more of a gift to the families and residents. It was something physical that they could remember their loved ones and the hey day of their lives by. It also represented an account of what happened for future generations. Finished 2016.
“Leadership takes on many forms. Some leaders are forceful and dominant, while others work behind the scenes and offer quiet support and encouragement. Regardless of style, the substance is the same. Michael Parker’s work demonstrates leadership in all its forms in his “Leaders’ Row.” Motivating, prodding, assisting, nurturing, and even financing the dreams and aspirations of single individuals and whole communities, the men and women featured here provided both a bedrock foundation to build upon and boundless success to strive toward. Each one left their mark on the city and on the lives of those they inspired.”