LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The City of Lexington is on a mission to recognize women who were such an important part of the nation's history, and a monument is part of the effort.
Mayor Linda Gorton announced Tucson artist Barbara Grygutis during an event at the Pam Miller Downtown Art Center in downtown Lexington. (Photo: WKYT/Chelsea Jones)
The installation is meant to remind Lexington women of how far they have come and how far there is still to go. It's part of a growing movement across the country to recognize noteworthy women through public monuments.
Last year city leaders launched the "Breaking the Bronze Ceiling" initiative, calling on artists nationwide to create the city's first public statue of historical women.
During an event at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center Wednesday, a panel of judges announced that Barbara Grygutis will create the piece, after reviewing submissions from 127 applicants. From Tuscon Arizona, Grygutis has created more than 70 public art pieces across the U.S. and beyond.
Grygutis was chosen among four finalists to create the monument, which will sit in the plaza of the Lexington financial center downtown.
"Many people will see it driving past, walking past, visitors who come to our downtown for games and restaurants," says Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton.
Grygutis' monument will pay tribute to the women of the suffrage movement, which has ties to Kentucky.
"This design does not single out a single person because the effort to pass the 19th amendment was widespread," Grygutis tells WKYT.
City council member Jennifer Mossotti says in 1838 the Kentucky legislature granted limited voting rights to women living in rural areas, allowing them to vote on taxes and education issues.
The project will cost $500,000 dollars. So far, $350,000 dollars has been raised. The money will go towards the preparation of the land, paying the artist, and purchasing materials.
The plan is to have the monument in Lexington installed by August 1st of 2020, just in time for the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote.