Project History

Landmarks commissioned artist Michael Ray Charles to create a site-specific sculpture for the atrium of the Gordon-White Building. Composed of hundreds of wooden crutches, Charles’ sculpture and the surrounding architecture symbolize progress, transition, and transformation.

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, associate professor at The University of Pennsylvania, contributed the artist essay, which provides greater detail about Charles and his work.

Funding for (Forever Free) Ideas, Languages and Conversations was provided by the College of Liberal Arts as a portion of the capital improvement project. Many departments were involved in its planning, including the African and African Diaspora Studies Department, the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies, the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies. Landmarks would like to thank Edmund Gordon, Domino Perez, Cherise Smith, Anna-Lisa Plant, Stephanie Lang, and Myra Gibbs, OFPC and project manager Bart Kleiman, Joe Tenbarge and Grant Barger and the College of Liberal Arts, Susan Frocheur of Architexas, contractor SpawGlass, and Ozie Monroe.