Almost Six Years Ago

Reblogged from Nov 3, 2013

Keeping Tabs  A Holocaust Sculpture Dedication

Sunday afternoon was the official dedication of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt  Keeping Tabs- A Holocaust Sculpture at the Community Day School at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Ave.   The sculpture is a maze in the shape of the Star of David, created with glass blocks which are filled with six million pop tabs which took almost five years to collect , each tab representing a human life lost in the Holocaust.  Many people contributed time, money and effort to the creation of the sculpture and the  beautiful surrounding park.  Walking into the maze, one is struck by the magnitude of the horror of genocide, the number of victims is hard to fathom but the pop tabs in the glass blocks are a reminder of the millions killed.

The resident artist, Elena Hiatt Houlihan has been with this project since 2002.  Pop tabs were being collected since 1996 and Mr. Walter the History Teacher at Community Day School had aquariums filled with them when Elena arrived to help the student teams design the sculpture. Their original artist statement was read by her at the dedication ceremony today.

Elena had been a resident artist at Greenfield Elementary when I was the art teacher there and I remember her talking about the ongoing work of this sculpture and then funding and other circumstances delayed the completion.

It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and there were speeches and prayers and an 8th grader played the violin.  A chill wind and shadows gave one a shudder and reminded those present of the significance of the memorial sculpture.   Never Forget.

Keeping Tabs Memorial (1)

I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.

Keeping Tabs2

Keeping Tabs close up

program

Violin Player

Bill WalterReceiving a standing ovation,  Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakElena and Mr. WalterArtist in Residence Elena Hiatt Houlihan and  Social Studies Teacher Mr. Bill Walter who started the collection of the pop tabs when he was teaching the Holocaust to middle school students at Community Day School.

bill walter on Channel two

Elena and friends and family (1)

Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name

Keeping Tabs Memorial

One of the many many stones and bricks donated,
One of the many many, memorial stones and engraved bricks. each representing the accumulation of many donations, small, medium and large. I chose this one to photograph because for the inscribed words about “generations never born”- that message struck me.

Pop Tabs in Glass Blocks

filling the last blockThis block will be used for educational presentations.  I put a tab in and then asked the next woman if I might photograph her doing so and she agreed.

Night Light on the Holocaust Sculpture “Keeping Tabs”

I was wondering what I’d post following the dedication post  of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Holocaust Sculpture from yesterday.  Thank you for the thoughtful comments and for sharing it with those who were unable to attend.

And then the artist Elena Hiatt Houlihan called me Monday night to say she’d taken photographs of Keeping Tabs at night with a borrowed tripod.

She said to me, “You have to see it at night.  The light is beautiful.”

I was half asleep-

but after we hung up, I pulled jeans over my pjs,  threw on a coat and grabbed a hat.  I drove up Beechwood Boulevard to photograph the sculpture even though Elena had already left.   It was 10 PM.

My tripod was at school in my classroom so I took up a Swifter with a flat top pole to steady my camera.

No moonlight to help the effort.

As I got out of the car, I  saw the light reflecting off the six million pop tabs encased in the glass blocks. All was quiet.  It was moving.

I was all alone until a single figure arrived and entered the sculpture for a  time.

I tried a number of settings, shutter speeds, aperture and white balance, trying to get the best quality shot I could, given lack of tripod or remote cable.   It was in the low 40’s and I was wishing I had my tripod.  Night photography takes practice.

This post seems to complete yesterday’s photographic essay.  Good idea, Elena.

keeping tabs at night 2

 

 

 

 

keeping tabs at night 3

 

 

 

and then too much light, blown out- but autumn colors in the surrounding trees

 

keeping tabs at night 4

keeping tabs at night

Dedication of “Keeping Tabs – A Holocaust Sculpture”- Pittsburgh PA

Sunday afternoon was the official dedication of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt  Keeping Tabs- A Holocaust Sculpture at the Community Day School at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Ave.   The sculpture is a maze in the shape of the Star of David, created with glass blocks which are filled with six million pop tabs which took almost five years to collect , each tab representing a human life lost in the Holocaust.  Many people contributed time, money and effort to the creation of the sculpture and the  beautiful surrounding park.  Walking into the maze, one is struck by the magnitude of the horror of genocide, the number of victims is hard to fathom but the pop tabs in the glass blocks are a reminder of the millions killed.

The resident artist, Elena Hiatt Houlihan has been with this project since 2002.  Pop tabs were being collected since 1996 and Mr. Walter the History Teacher at Community Day School had aquariums filled with them when Elena arrived to help the student teams design the sculpture. Their original artist statement was read by her at the dedication ceremony today.

Elena had been a resident artist at Greenfield Elementary when I was the art teacher there and I remember her talking about the ongoing work of this sculpture and then funding and other circumstances delayed the completion.

It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and there were speeches and prayers and an 8th grader played the violin.  A chill wind and shadows gave one a shudder and reminded those present of the significance of the memorial sculpture.   Never Forget.

Keeping Tabs Memorial (1)

I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.

Keeping Tabs2

Keeping Tabs close up

program

Violin Player

Bill WalterReceiving a standing ovation,  Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakElena and Mr. WalterArtist in Residence Elena Hiatt Houlihan and  Social Studies Teacher Mr. Bill Walter who started the collection of the pop tabs when he was teaching the Holocaust to middle school students at Community Day School.

bill walter on Channel two

Elena and friends and family (1)

Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name

Keeping Tabs Memorial

One of the many many stones and bricks donated,
One of the many many, memorial stones and engraved bricks. each representing the accumulation of many donations, small, medium and large. I chose this one to photograph because for the inscribed words about “generations never born”- that message struck me.

Pop Tabs in Glass Blocks

filling the last blockThis block will be used for educational presentations.  I put a tab in and then asked the next woman if I might photograph her doing so and she agreed.