CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The second statue of the late United States Representative and Civil Rights leader John Lewis was unveiled at the American College of the Building Arts on Thursday.
“Congressman Jim Clyburn here in South Carolina has been very helpful with a number of things concerning John. This is the first place that it has gone to leave Georgia,” said Rodney Mimms Cook Jr., the Founding President of the National Monuments Foundation.
The sculpture was unveiled at the American College of the Building Arts (ACBA) because Mimms Cook Jr. was receiving an award from the school for preservation of the building arts. Mimms Cook Jr. also lead the effort to place Lewis’ first statue into an Atlanta park.
This statue of Lewis was made to stand in the United States Capitol Building. The Georgia Legislature will be voting on the matter this year.
If the statue is approved to stand in Washington D.C., it will make stops in other states on its way to the nation’s capital.
Before the unveiling, two ACBA students were recognized for building the 1,300 pound stone plinth that Lewis’ statue stands on.
“Probably finishing it is always my favorite part. Getting down to the very last bit, sanding it down, getting it nice and smooth, finally setting it up,” said Cameron Hawkins, an ACBA student.
“It’s great. It’s really exciting that it’ll last a long time and a lot of people will see it. It’s pretty rewarding,” said Iris Howe, who also worked on the plinth.
The sculptor of the statue, Gregory Johnson, said he used photos of Lewis to craft the statue, but other resources helped him carve Lewis’ from bronze.
“After reading his book ‘Walking in the Wind’ you find out a lot of insights about how this guy really ticked,” said Johnson. “That book says a lot of things about him, a test to his character and his substance.”
For Howe, the work is something she’ll never forget.
“I hope I’ll look back on it and say ‘Wow I’m really proud of that still.’ But I have a feeling I’ll think ‘Wow I could have done a lot better,'” said Howe.