This week, justArts spoke with Sabrina Dieudonne ’14 who created a memorial monument devoted to the Boston Marathon Bombing. The statue currently stands in the Shapiro Campus Center Atrium.
JustArts: Can you describe your project?
Sabrina Dieudonne: I was taking a class on campus its called “3D Design” and the professor was [Prof.] Christopher Frost [(FA)]. It was a final project and we were required to make something that is interacting with the campus, … and when he was explaining the project to us, he showed us … the ducks in the Boston Common. That was kind of my inspiration.
My original inspiration, though, was two firefighters who recently died in Boston in a big fire. I am from Boston—born and raised—so I have a lot of Boston pride. So originally I was thinking of making a firefighter hat with a similar material that the ducks were made out of. But then it was also around the time that the one-year anniversary came up, so I decided to do the Boston Bombing memorial. I still wanted to do a similar color to the ducks—I know it’s not the exact color—but I was going for that bronze-gold type of color.
JA: Why did you choose this design?
SD: I wanted to make it like a monument. So the sneakers are actually my sneakers. I spray painted [them] along with the monument. And [for] the monument, I casted it. And we casted it using wood and then we filled it up with plaster and after that we let it set and dry, set and dry. After that, we painted it—gave it a few coats.
I really wanted to put sneakers on there … to give back in some sort of way—it being my pair of sneakers—and also to show that we’ll keep running. So the movement of the sneakers (I have it like in motion) to show that what happened a year ago won’t stop us and we’ll keep running no matter what, despite the affliction that we faced.
JA: How do you hope the monument will affect people as they walk past it?
SD: I just want us not to forget what happened. [But] though I don’t want us to forget what happened, that doesn’t mean I want to make us sad. I just want us to remember what happened. And I want us to remember [that] despite whatever obstacles you face, you can still keep going. So I don’t want it to have a negative connotation to it but rather a more positive [one]. That’s why the text says “Together we run for Boston” instead of saying something more sad like “in memory of…” I wanted to turn a negative into a positive.
JA: Why did you choose the Shapiro Campus Center? What significance does that have for you?
SD: Originally I really wanted it to stay outside for good—forever. But because of the weather I didn’t think it would be a good option. I was debating on where to put it, to be honest, but I know that there are a lot of people coming in and out, so I thought that it would be a good option to put it in there ... I’m hoping to encase it in some kind of glass to protect it because it’s just sitting there and I want to put it in something.
JA: Are you planning on doing something like this again in the future?
SD: So at that time, while I was doing that [monument] I wanted to do a second one—the same exact one, but just put it in upper campus. But as of now, I don’t have any specific plans of making another one. But you never know. It’s possible.
I’m a Psychology major and Legal Studies minor, so I was really proud of myself for doing this because I didn’t think I had it in me to do this because I had no experience in art or anything. I took this class and I actually appreciate art much more to be honest, after taking a few classes here. But I’m not sure if I have any plans for doing anything in art but I definitely appreciate it more.