CFUM youth with “All Talk No Action,” their collaborative sculpture developed in response to Kerry James Marshall’s “A Monumental Journey (in the background).

CFUM youth with “All Talk No Action,” their collaborative sculpture developed in response to Kerry James Marshall’s “A Monumental Journey (in the background).


Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation

Youth Response Provides Contemporary Context to A Monumental Journey

In July 2018, the sculpture A Monumental Journey by noted African-American artist Kerry James Marshal was erected in downtown Des Moines. The sculpture commemorates the National Bar Association — an organization formed by local attorneys in 1925, a time when the American Bar Association denied membership to African-American lawyers.

To give the sculpture contemporary cultural context, the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation hired Group Creative to spearhead a response to the project by local African-American youth. Under the direction of local artist Jordan Weber and documentary filmmaker Lee Heineman, 40 local middle-school students created a series of short videos as well as a piece of temporary public art named All Talk, No Action.

One of the videos produced is available here.

Curriculum derived from this experience was written to educate young students on key aspects of public resources and spaces and their connections to art as a mechanism for discourse and civil rights. This is freely available here. (pdf, )