Looking & Learning Commemoration
Stan Herd, Portrait of Saginaw Grant. Jefferson County, Kansas, 1988. Created on 30 acres from wheat stubble. Courtesy the artist. Photograph ©Jon Blumb.
To commemorate is to honor and remember.
As you look around your town or city, do
you see artworks in public places that mean
something special to the local people? Artists
create public monuments to help us honor
and remember—or commemorate—people,
places, and events that are important to
our communities. Such artworks recognize
those individuals and special events that have
shaped the histories of our cities and regions.
Commemorative artworks might be small or
monumental. The events remembered might
be positive (encouraging the viewer to warmly
recognize an individual or event) or tragic
(asking the viewer to reflect on the event and
allow room for healing). These artworks help
strengthen our connections with our commu-
nities and the people who have come before
us, and the stories they tell will make connec-
tions with audiences of the future.