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    My Vision for the Freedom March of Art

    A transformational moment for me came on September 11, 2001, when I gave up all of my former clients and made the bold decision to use my skill as a sculptor to make art that might transform negativity in the world by focusing on positive aspects of humanity. After twenty successful years operating a creative design business, it seemed an insane idea, but I followed my passion and have since learned people are hungry for art that inspires, educates and depicts history truthfully.

    With the design of my first monument, Remember Them: Champions for Humanity, I attempted to depict the astounding altruism that is possible in humankind. The more I researched, the more phenomenal people I uncovered, and I saw the impossibility of sculpting a single artwork that encompassed the great deeds of so many. I then realized that by creating a series of monuments, each with a slightly different theme and placed in different locales, I could spread uplifting messages to countless people and create bonds between cities. Thus, the concept of the Freedom March of Art© was born.

    As I began exploring themes of social justice in my own art, I created works for my own collection as well as commissioned sculpture that brought to life significant people and moments in history. I relied upon my and my team’s ability to capture the facial likeness of an individual, but it is the emotion in the work that most strongly and memorably connects with others.

    Reminding people of the courageous, selfless acts that changed our world forever is one avenue to break the cycle of negative news. My dream is to continue the work of heroes and humanitarians by creating artworks that speak to the heart, inspire and educate, and challenge every person to achieve greatness.

    The Remember Them: Champions for Humanity monument is located at the Henry J. Kaiser Memorial Park at 1900 Rashida Muhammad Street in the heart of Oakland’s entertainment district. Featuring 25 humanitarians of diverse cultural backgrounds, this is the only monument in the US where these international civil rights leaders appear together. Photo courtesy of Chiodo Art Development.

     

    Sculptor Mario Chiodo is the founder of Chiodo Art Development and Freedom March of Art, which created the “Remember Them: Champions for Humanity” monument in Oakland. A native of Oakland, Chiodo has won numerous commissions and awards. He directs a diverse team of artists who are experts in realistic artwork, murals, painting, foliage, scenery and scientifically accurate modeling.