artist Al LaVergne put the final touches on a sculpture of
Martin Luther King Jr. last week before shipping it off to
Shreveport, La., for installation in a public park.
The bronze work depicts the late civil rights leader with his arms
linked to a black woman and a white man. "He didn't belong to just the blacks," said
LaVergne, a Western Michigan University art professor. "He's forming the
The two outer figures are reaching out with their other hands to
extend the chain to other people, and King's arms have been transformed into
books and other forms. "It makes the sculpture both representational and
abstract," LaVergne said.
It will be placed in a Shreveport park as part of a new development
project that includes the new Martin Luther King Highway.
LaVergne completed the sculpture at his home studio in rural Van
Buren County He said that since he was not teaching classes for the spring and
summer, he was able to work on the sculpture for 10 hours a day, six days a week
to complete it in time for the fall installation.