Life-size Frederick Douglass sculptures come to the streets of Rochester

Local News

This year is all about celebrating Frederick Douglass’ 200th birthday here in Rochester. And community leaders are teaming up with a local sculptor using their talents to showcase the abolitionist in a creative way.

If you’ve been to Highland Park, there’s a good chance you’ve seen the statue of Frederick Douglass. Soon we’ll be seeing a lot more of Douglass around Rochester. 

Project Director Carvin Eison says they will be placing statues at 13 different sites significant to Douglass’ life in Rochester.

“Frederick Douglass’ ideas, the things that he believed in are needed now more than ever,” said  Eison. “All of his activism coming off that monument in Highland Park and into the streets of Rochester, New York.”

Sculptor Olivia Kim is putting her last minute touches on the more than 6 foot tall Frederick Douglass statues. She reached out to a descendant of Douglass, his great, great, great, grandson Ken Morris Junior.

“Ken has a remarkable similarities to Frederick Douglass particularly in his bone structure, in his jawline, so i sculpted him first in clay and then afterwards created the rest of the sculpture using the measurements and many photographs of the monument,” said Kim. 

Each statue will have QR codes that will tell the story of why the statue is at that particular location.

Three of the statues will be unveiled Thursday during a ceremony at the Hochstein School of Music & Dance at 10 A.M. The rest are scheduled to be finished by the end of summer. The statues will remain there for the next 3 years. 

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