A memorial near Atlanta commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 will feature the sculptural work of Marine veteran and SCAD alumnus Curtis Miller (B.F.A. Sculpture 2011).
The memorial, to be placed outside the DeKalb County Police and Fire Department, will feature Miller’s sculpture, which uses a 180 pound portion of an I-beam from the World Trade Center towers at its center.
With the help of firefighter Doug Harm, Miller designed the sculpture. The sculpture consists of wings, which are very much a part of Miller’s design aesthetic, and the I-beam. Harm got the I-beam by contacting people in New York, who sent the I-beam to him to use in the memorial.
From the very beginning, Miller knew that this was the perfect project for him. And so did Susan Krause, the chair of the sculpture department at SCAD Atlanta who heard about the project and placed it in Miller’s hands.
Miller had already packed his bags after graduating from SCAD and was headed to Chicago for another job when he first heard about the project. However, he couldn’t say no to the idea of building the memorial even though funding for the project was in question. Miller agreed to work together with Harm to raise funds for the entire project on their own, and he quickly found a place to live and used a SCAD Atlanta facility as his studio.
“The timing was right to take the chance on the project and Doug,” Miller said.
Miller served as a marine from January 2001 to January 2005 and again in 2008 with two tours in Iraq. Serving as a member of the Crash Fire Rescue from 2001 to 2005 Miller dealt with recoveries from plane crashes along with doing more traditional fire fighting, as well.
“My time spent in the Marine Corps and my time spent with fire departments has pretty much dictated the last 10 years of my life,” Miller said. “That brotherhood and that family is very familiar, and I miss it. So, it’s really nice to be apart of that again.”
In between tours in Iraq, Miller decided to attend SCAD in 2007.
“This is what I wanted to do as an artist. I wanted to make memorials; I wanted to be able to memorialize people’s stories,” Miller said.
Plaques that display information about the 9/11 event itself such as flight times and numbers will be a part of the memorial. It would be too difficult to place the names of those lost on the date on the memorial, so instead this memorial is “using symbolism to represent people and events.”
The memorial will to be finished on Sept. 10, except for the final piece, the I-beam, that will be added on Sept. 11. To check out the memorial visit this website.Contact Augusta Statz.