It was announced by New York State Senator Sean M. Ryan that an artist from Buffalo, New York will be designing a statue to honor the late Shirley Chisholm, who was a political trailblazer, according to a press release from Senator Ryan.
Chisholm was the first Black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress and run for president. She died in 2005 and was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, New York. She was born in Brooklyn and eventually got married and moved to Williamsville, which is a village that is a part of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area, according to WKBW.
The press release from Senator Ryan has more on the concept artwork:
Bottoms’ concept is designed to evoke emotion and inspire reflection through a series of elements that reference Chisholm’s life and legacy. It features Chisholm standing before a podium adorned with the 1972 Democratic National Convention’s seal, with her hand raised high in the air displaying a peace sign. On the side of the podium is a plaque featuring Chisholm’s famous quote: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Propped against the side of the podium is a folding chair, providing a symbolic reference to the quote.
Bottoms also shared how much it means for her to work on this project.
According to the press release, Bottoms said, “Being selected for this project is a deep honor for me. I have been given the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of a woman whose work has opened doors for me. I live in the reality of Shirley Chisholm’s vision for the future: a future in which Black women bring seats to tables that the world thought they’d never have a place at. Shirley sparked the imagination of women everywhere when she made her historic run. Seeing her boldly try for that which had not yet been done echoes here in 2022 with my own work. As a Black woman in the fine arts world, my art has fought to create representation where it has been lacking and to redefine the idea of what a professional visual artist looks like. With each project I work on, it is my hope that the next generation will find inspiration in it. Just as I have traveled the path laid by Chisholm’s life and legacy, I hope to also pave the way for the women who come after me. So it is with deep gratitude to Chisholm and the other trailblazers who have preceded me that I begin work on this incredible project.”
There was also a statue built in honor of Chisholm in Brooklyn in 2018.