PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

FGCU Dedicates Artistic Memorial to Covid-19 Victims

Covid Memorial
Sam Romero
/
WGCU
Hand Made Porcelain and Clay Flowers Represent Those Lost to Covid-19

An art installation honoring people who have died from Covid-19 was unveiled Tuesday on the library lawn at FGCU.

Faith leaders, students, faculty and staff gathered on Florida Gulf Coast University's library lawn Tuesday to honor those lost to COVID-19.

The field of grass is studded with more than 8,000 hand-sculpted porcelain and clay flowers made by students and volunteers. Each flower represents a person in Southwest Florida who died from COVID-19. Dr. Maria Roca, chair of FGCU’s integrated studies program, helped organize the art installation and spoke about her father, who died from tuberculosis decades ago.

"I know the personal cost of a pandemic. I watched my father struggle for breath just as all the Covid victims have. When the numbers of deaths started climbing past 300,000, my best friend and favorite colleague Tricia Fay and I came to the conclusion that we had to do something on our campus to help our community, especially our students, grieve those who we have lost," Dr. Roca said.

A number like 8,000 is hard to comprehend when it comes to death, so the flowers are meant to represent the unique and diverse individuals we’ve lost.

"You alone, our God, can turn our mourning into dancing, and our grief into joy over the sweet remembrance of our beloved,"
Reverend Dr. William L. Glover

When Reverend Dr. William L. Glover spoke, he brought some of the people in the crowd to tears, but urged a return to joy through remembrance.

"You alone, our God, can turn our mourning into dancing, and our grief into joy over the sweet remembrance of our beloved," Dr. Glover said.

The art installation, “Field of Remembrance, Cathedral of Sky,” will remain in place through Monday, April 5th, with two ceremonies and an interactive ArtLab Gallery exhibit planned.

covid mem.PNG