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October 29, 2001

Martin Luther King Jr. sculpture on display

By Louise Donahue

McHenry Library has a new temporary resident, and he's unlikely to get lost in the crowd.

A student takes a look at the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. in McHenry Library. Photo: Don Harris
A bronze bust of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is on loan to the library for a month, where it is being shown in the foyer.

The larger-than-life "heroic" size sculpture, created by Santa Cruz artist Barrington McLean, was installed October 24.

McLean said he had looked at different sites for the bust before settling on the open area between the library and the Chancellor's Office. The light coming through the large windows, the height of the ceiling, and the amount of foot traffic were factors in his choice.

Once installed, "it looked much greater than I thought it would look," McLean said. "The light was just perfect."

The sculpture is a second casting, McLean said. The first casting is on display in the Sculpture Habitat in Marina, near the new headquarters of UC's Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology (MBEST) Center on the former Fort Ord Army base.

George Brown, vice provost and dean for academic affairs, attended the dedication of the Sculpture Habitat last spring and was impressed by McLean's sculpture. After Brown was told that a second casting of the bust was available, the loan to UCSC was arranged.

McLean, who has taught figure sculpture at UCSC, works in various media and has done sculptures of other heroes, including one of George Washington. He was one of three to receive a Distinguished Artist of 2001 honor by the Santa Cruz Art League.

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