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 2005-01-06 Pittsburgh-Holocaust sculpture



Community Day School

Community Day School plans
groundbreaking for Holocaust sculpture
 encapsulating 6 million pull tabs, Jan. 6, 2005

holocaust file


Community Day School in Squirrel Hill plans to break ground in April 2005 for a 40-foot diameter, 9-foot high Holocaust sculpture, in which 6 million pop tabs will be encased in 960 glass blocks to form a Star of David..  Each pop tab will represent a Jewish life lost in the Holocaust.

Social studies teacher Bill Walter prompted students to begin collecting the pop tabs in 1996 and after five years they had the requisite 6 million. Sculptor Elena Hiat Houlihan, who has created other large-scale works for public places, later became an artist-in-residence, guiding the school through the conceptualization process.

Visitors will be able to enter a meditative area within the sculpture, which is expected to be located on the day school's grounds. The April groundbreaking date will mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the nazi concentration camps by Allied forces.

Various organizations gave grants via the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation for the project, including the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, the William Penn Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.  Architectural consultation on the project was provided pro bono by Alan Dunn of Dunn and Associates.  
                                                                                                       Donald H. Harrison