After six years of planning, the design for a monument honoring peaceful protestors will be exhibited at a discussion panel today at noon in Corwin Pavilion.
Students and faculty can view the plans for the new monument to be built in Isla Vista’s Perfect Park and a panel of speakers including Congresswoman Lois Capps will talk about the history of the antiwar movement in Isla Vista, focusing specifically on the Vietnam era.
Campus Democrats President Bill Flores said his club wants to support past peace movements by co-sponsoring Monday’s discussion.
“Hopefully students will be able to know that they can make a difference especially with what is happening today,” Flores said. “It’s so important that we think about what happened in the past and about what we can do in the future as far as ensuring peace.”
A committee under the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District was created six years ago to raise funds, and find a proper design for a monument that would honor peaceful protesters in I.V., said Diane Conn, the chair of the IVRPD and a Perfect Park Peace Monument committee member. She said she hopes the monument will be dedicated before the end of this year.
The committee created a panel of judges composed of members of the community, including a combat veteran of Vietnam, longtime I.V. residents and professional visual artists from Santa Barbara County. In 1999, the top seven designs were exhibited in Isla Vista and in the art department on the UCSB campus so that the community could vote on the final design.
“We needed public input to know what the people thought was an appropriate design in trying to honor those who protested and to promote reconciliation,” Conn said.
Funding for this project has come from student group contributions such as the Community Service Board and from small donations from people in the community. The monument will cost an estimated $20,000, I.V. Perfect Park Peace Monument committee chair Robert Potter said. The committee has raised approximately $13,000.
“We very much hope to have it built by this spring,” Conn said. “When we get the very final bid at the end of the month, we’ll begin fundraising again for the entire amount.”
The monument is designed by local artist Colin Gray, and will be composed of metal and wood with four archways converging on a central circular area, Potter said.
“Plaques on the four sides of monument will show the themes of love, vision, wisdom and strength, which represent the way of the teacher, warrior, visionary and healer,” he said. “The idea is that people will view peace as an objective you can get to from four different ways.”
Potter, who will moderate Monday’s discussion, said planning for the monument has taken a long time because of several factors.
“There has been a lot of support for this project and the community gradually came to a very big consensus that this monument was a good idea, but it’s taken us a while to raise money,” Potter said. “We took our time and put together a national competition, and artists from various parts of the nation came up with ideas.”
Potter said he hopes the discussion will attract people who have not heard about this project before and will fill out any gaps in people’s knowledge of the antiwar activity in the community.