For the second time in 16 years, Lancaster County sculptor Richard Blake has been chosen to capture the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in bronze.
Blake is about three weeks away from completing the clay version of what will become a bronze 7-foot 4-inch statue of King in the studio near his home in Kinzers.
The statue, which he is sculpting for a New Jersey nonprofit, means Blake’s ability to depict King in larger-than-life size has been recognized from coast to coast.
In 1998, Blake was commissioned to create a 9!-W-foot bronze statue of King that stands in the Peace Gardens at California State University in Fresno.
The statue in Fresno depicts King dressed in religious robes and holding a baby.
The baby, Blake said, “represents innocence and future generations.”
The statue he’s working on for the Bergen County Martin Luther King Jr. Monument Committee in New Jersey depicts King in academic robes, holding a scroll in one hand and a book in the other.
It will stand in a college campus in Hackensack, the county seat of New Jersey’s most-populous county.
It is meant, Blake said, to show King as a man simultaneously grounded in a knowledge of the past and pointing to a better future.
“It depicts him as a visionary and a national hero,” Blake said, “not just a black hero, but a national hero, a world hero.”
The statue seeks to evoke the stature of King’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech, his final one, , the last one he delivered before being assassinated in 1968.
Source: Lancaster Online | JOE HAINTHALER