The Ohio Women’s Memorial Commission, created by Ohio State Legislators and The Ohio Arts Council announced artist Brenda Councill is a finalist selected from a national competition to create a design for a Women’s Commemorative Monument. The winning design will then be installed on the grounds of The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. The monumental bronze and stone sculpture will become the first national placement of a women’s memorial on Statehouse grounds creating history while honoring women.
In 2019 Councill competed in the New York Central Park statue placement of a woman’s memorial honoring Suffragist. Her sculpture design and preliminary drawings attracted the attention of other cities and organizations seeking to honor women. Councill related, “ the excitement and creative forces are unstoppable when the voices of women of the past inspire the present and our future!”
Ohio Secretary of State, Frank LaRose stated, “It’s unacceptable that right now there are no female statues on Statehouse grounds other than mythological figures. The Statehouse has always been the people’s house, and as it continues to serve as a centerpiece for debate, peaceful protest, and history, I’m thrilled that women will finally be represented with the honor they’ve long deserved.”
Councill’s newest sculpture planned for Boone commemorates the 150th Anniversary and represents a community-based effort to visually honor the town’s development. Support from families, individuals, and organizations are making this project possible. Mark Freed, Director of the Town of Boone Cultural Resources Dept. states, “The Department is excited to work with artist, Brenda Councill, and the Watauga County Arts Council with this project as part of the Boone 150th celebration. This piece will help honor the Town’s history for generations to come. ”
High Country residents and visitors would be familiar with many permanent large-scale artworks by Councill. Notably the bronze sculpture of famous NC impressionist Elliott Daingerfield, the landmark Belk Library features an ascending mural and The Reich College of Education features a sculptural ceiling mural both recognized in the national public art registry. A historic Watauga County mural was installed in The Appalachian Theater and the historic Rumple Presbyterian Church features a ceiling mural called, “Heaven’s Light”.
Dr. Lawrence Wheeler, CEO and Director of the North Carolina Museum of Art compared her work to the great female sculptor, Harriet Hosmer. Councill also advocated Public Art policy action and initiated designation of public art along the 321 corridor with the NCDOT. Councill organized the inaugural Sculpture Walk on Chetola Lake and it will be remembered as the largest gathering and exhibition of sculptures in Watauga County.