It is one thing to build a sculpture that will soon redefine the Boston landscape. It is another to build it some 2,500 miles away in Washington State.
"We really needed the capacity, and we were really confident Walla Walla could do it," said Sam Giarratani, project manager for "The Embrace."
That need for massive scale is how the sculpture honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, came to be born in Walla Walla, Washington.
Currently, 109 workers are building "The Embrace" inside a workshop at The Foundry in Walla Walla.
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"I think that what this sculpture represents, and the movement and the energy behind it, and the necessity for it, is what makes it extra special for us," said Jonathan Follett, President of The Foundry.
Hank Willis Thomas is the artist behind "The Embrace."
"The love that Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott had for one another and had for this county and for this world, and for humanity is everlasting," he said.
It isn't just Walla Walla. Quarra Stone Company based in Madison, Wisconsin, is doing all of the stone work for "The Embrace."
"It is exciting that this group has pushed so hard to make something," said Alex Marshall, with Quarra.
King Boston is the nonprofit behind the sculpture. Leaders of the organization always wanted this to push what was possible. Along the way, it is also helping redefine public art.
"It is important to build monuments, but the monuments have to have meaning, and they have to have action," said Imari Paris Jeffries, King Boston's Executive Director.
Work on "The Embrace" should be done by late November. From there, all 609 pieces will be loaded up on trucks to make the drive to Boston.
More on "The Embrace"
The plan is to have an official unveiling on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January of 2023.
"I think to be able to see this — and you will be able to see it, you won't be able to miss it — would be a moment in which folks will say, 'Well, maybe Boston is changing,'" said Rev. Jeffrey Brown, co-chair of King Boston. "If you don't start a conversation when you see this thing, I don't know what can help you."