Local Sculptor Wins Design Contest for Watauga County Veterans Memorial in Downtown Boone

Published Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Banner Elk native Suzie Hallier’s proposal “Time and Honor,” a striking tribute to the veterans of recent and future wars, is the winner of the Watauga County Veterans Memorial design contest. Photos by Ken Ketchie

The Boone/Watauga County Veterans Memorial Executive Committee is excited to announce the winner of the memorial design competition. Banner Elk native Suzie Hallier’s proposal “Time and Honor” is a striking tribute to the veterans of recent and future wars.

“I am very honored to be awarded the opportunity to create a meaningful work of art in downtown Boone. I know that it is a great responsibility to help our community remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and I am humbled by the committee’s choice to involve my suggested piece,” Hallier said.

Hallier is a Linville-based artist and daughter of late renowned sculptor Richard Hallier, who created in Boone for many years. Prior to her father settling down as a sculptor, Richard served in the U.S. Marine Corp. “His service, an that of his fellow marines, continues to be an inspiration to me as I strive to create a monument that helps the public remember and reflect,” Hallier said. 

Among many works spread across the world, Richard sculpted Yosef on the campus of App State. He started working with the late Foscoe-based artist Wayne Trapp in 1981 after arriving to the Boone area in 1981.

After making art with Trapp in Foscoe, Hallier acted as an “unofficial studio assistant” in her dad’s home studio. “I learned so much from working with my dad,” Hallier said, adding that exposure early on to fine art led her to obtain a BFA from UNCA in studio art. 

Hallier said that she worked on sculpture primarily with her dad. But after he passed in 2010, Hallier said she lost the inspiration to create and found it difficult to move forward as a sculptor. In 2011, she said she was approached by a gentleman that had commissioned several works from her father. This collector wanted her to produce a piece that her father had originally planned to make. 

“I agreed to that project and found that using my fathers tools was cathartic and helped me to feel a closeness to him that I thought had been lost,” Hallier said. 

The structure of the future Watauga County Veterans Memorial is in the shape of an ellipse and, according to Hallier, is “meant to draw the viewers into a reflective state.” The memorial will be constructed out of stainless steel and Core-TEN materials and will be approximately 8 feet tall which will allow viewers to fully immerse themselves inside the monument.

George Brudzinski of the High Country Chapter of Military Officers Association of America, which is spearheading the project with the partnership of the Town of Boone and Watauga County, said Hallier’s design was chosen for a variety of factors, including simplicity and fitting into Downtown Boone’s environment.

“The other two were great and all had their special quality. In Suzie’s case and the piece of art, we saw the ability to add to it and Suzie was very receptive in adding the kneeling wall and the wall behind it will be dedicated to our donors and our veterans that served,” Brudzinski said. “There’s so much more we could add to it and still keep the design simple.” 

The two kneeling walls on opposite sides of the memorial will have plaques representing each conflict involving the U.S., starting with the Revolutionary War. Groundbreaking for the memorial is set for early 2018 and the project should be complete next summer. 

Town of Boone staff will work together with Ms. Hallier on the design of the space around the memorial including lighting and landscaping to make this a veteran’s memorial that is profound and that will harmonize with the beauty of downtown Boone.

It is the hope of the Town of Boone and the High Country Chapter of Military Officers Association of America that you will join us in giving thanks to all past, present and future veterans in a meaningful way by financially supporting this memorial.

Credit card and PayPal donations accepted online at www.hccmoaa.org or at www.facebook.com/hccmoaa. You may also donate by mailing a check to:

Watauga County Veterans Memorial Fund
High Country Chapter MOAA
Post Office Box 3312
Boone, NC 28607

For questions regarding the Watauga County Veterans Memorial Fund, please e-mail: hccmoaa@gmail.com.

Learn more about the artist at: http://suziehallierart.blogspot.com.

Members of the Watauga Veterans Memorial Committee (including Boone Town Manager John Ward, Col. Ben Covington, Lindsay Miller of the Turchin Center, LtCol George Brudzinski, Council Members Loretta Clawson and Jeannine Underdown Collins and Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz) stand with sculptor Suzie Hallier, the winner of the memorial design contest.

Sculptor Suzie Hallier, the winner of the memorial design contest, shows a small model of her sculpture.

Sculptor Suzie Hallier, the winner of the memorial design contest, shows a small model of her sculpture.

Sculptor Suzie Hallier, the winner of the memorial design contest, points to where the sculpture will be located next to Town Hall.

Sculptor Suzie Hallier stands with Col. Ben Covington and Lindsey Miller of the Turchin Center.

This is the small model and the design is being amended for the addition of two kneeling walls on opposite sides of the main memorial.

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