Dale Clark, artist, sculptor, filmaker, activist, and octogenarian of Bisbee, Arizona has created his largest environmental sculpture ever.  Its the America, Afghanistan and Iraq Children's Memorial, designed to travel to select installations.  The Children's Memorial respectfully remembers children killed in the current conflict involving these nations.

The memorial is controversial and gripping. Surprise, tension and grief are evoked with a walk through sculptural maze and a field of 4,000 small tombstones. The tombstones are cast with hair and clothing donated by the famous and not so famous. Children and adults have epressed the feelings evinced by the memorial by enhancing individual tombstones with paintings, verse, letters and prayers.  In this way they have adopted the memory of the lost children. At the end of hostilities, or other appropriate time, Mr. Clark plans to auction the tombstones, donating the proceeds to non-profit groups working directly wih the survivors of terror and the 'war on terror' in all three of these countries.

The inspiration for the Children's Memorial came while Mr. Clark was filming his dark comedy/political satire, The Credit Card Terrorist.  To keep the crew busy while waiting for film processing in the Hollywood labs, he hatched a video concept documenting the loss of life surounding the Twin Towers tradgedy and the subsequent American Coalition invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Initially slated to consume three weeks time, the video project quickly morphed into the Children's Memorial. The film was put on the back burner and all efforts focused on the Children's Memorial.

Mr. Clark tells it like this.  "I was shocked and riveted by the overwhelming, yet unintentional, loss of 4,000 innocent children.  It is important to me to alert others to this tragedy.  I'm dyslexic.  I don't write.  I can't even spell.  I make my statements tangibly, through art and film."  With this art work, Mr. Clark says, "I am intentionally making myself vulnerable to stimulate dialog.  I admire president Bush's steadfast purposefulness. Our president apparently deeply believes with all his heart that he is right.  And yet, I wonder:  Does he ever have doubts or misgivings?  Even just a twinge?  For myself, I know with all my heart that I don't have the answer.  I know that I don't know, but I have faith in humanity that on some level we are all one and interconnected.  With the Children's Memorial, and with my life, I want to say, 'Love and respect all humanity because that's what we are.' We are not exclusively right or exclusively wrong. We are, all of us, going through this process of realization. Where we are now is our highest truth, but it is possible to move to a higher truth, without negating where we stand now.  Individuals, nations, and even the cosmos, are always changing.  With this Memorial I hope to inspire respectful conversations from many perspectives."

So far, Mr. Clark has been personally funding the production of the Children's Memorial from the proceeds of sales of his art work and t-shirts, In order to reach a broader audience, he hopes to find deep pockets or organizations wishing to sponsor the project.  Or, he thinks perhaps visitors to the Memorial might wish to make donations when adopting the memory of one of the children. He is also making the tombstone molds, the list of lost children, and his technical expertise available to anyone, either in another part of the U.S., or in another country, who whishes to replicate the Children's Memorial.  For more information, or to inquire about hosting the Children's Memorial, email dcstupidwise@yahoo.com. To learn more about what it takes to show the Memorial visit our lessons learned page.


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