LINCROFT – The well-known Toms River artist Brian Hanlon recently unveiled his newest sculpture that will be on display at Brookdale Community College.
Hanlon stated how he always wants to inspire others when they look at his sculptures. This new sculpture, which will be placed in the MAS main lobby on campus, is to honor the 100th Anniversary of Women being able to vote. The sculpture is an anonymous woman holding an American flag, which represents the victorious moment when women walked to Washington D.C. to enact the 19th Amendment.
“This important milestone deserves a historical and spiritual permanent marker. I hope the women who walk in and out of the building feel the impact of the statue and have the courageous spirit, like the women before them to succeed,” said Hanlon.
“It’s hard to imagine a time when women had no vote, I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I could not have fully participated in civic life,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said. “I think of Susan B. Anthony standing outside Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1876, reading the declaration of the rights of women of the U.S. and the sculpture of her in that moment by Brian Hanlon.”
“This beautiful sculpture will remind us all and countless future generations of the fight for women’s suffrage and more importantly inspire them to cherish and preserve the rights established by the 19th amendment that we are here to celebrate today,” Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon said. “When our country is in the midst of the 2020 Presidential election, we are reminded of how lucky we are as Americans to have the right to elect our leaders who will represent us. I would not be serving in this elected position that I am today were it not for the brave suffragists who ensured this precious right for women.”
“We now have two markers of those moments in time when people had to fight to be fully recognized citizens of our American democracy,” said David Stout, President of Brookdale Community College, referencing the Martin Luther King Jr. Lounge that is in the Student Life Center. “We are so excited to have the statue here. So many of our students will walk through those doors, and when they enter this building it’s the first thing they are going to see. Thank you very much Brian for your dedication and your generosity.”
Not only will the sculpture be on display, but an installation done by present and past Brookdale students will be shown on the wall behind it.
English professor Roseanne Alvare is the Coordinator of the Women in Learning and Leadership program at Brookdale Community College. She explained how graduates and current students spoke with Brian Hanlon to get his vision of his work. Hanlon’s idea was to create a nameless figure but a multi-representative statue. The students collaborated with Hanlon to construct their own ideas for the installation.
“The students will bring it to life in an installation that features more marginalized voices and underrepresented figures from the movement and beyond,” Alvare said. “The students are doing all of the research and will be collaborating with student artists to develop this installation that will go on the wall behind the statue.”
“I am super honored to be working on the installation to go along with this sculpture. It means a lot, to have something that is tribute, a reminder, long standing and something that commemorates women. I am super grateful to be a part of this. In my research I found there were Native American women who influenced the early women’s suffrage activists in the United States because of their egalitarian society. They will be included as part of the installation,” said Karen Amaro, an English Education major at Georgian Court University.
The installation is scheduled to be presented in April of 2021 right at the end of the spring semester. Hanlon stated how this specific piece of work took him about six to eight months to create. Although, he explained how he never works on just one piece, rather he works on 10 or more pieces at the same time. His hand-crafted works honor icons, legends and moments of significance. Hanlon has received national and local awards and commendations for his commissions, which usually revolve around civic, historic and athletic subjects.
“In 1979 I graduated high school and came over to Brookdale, I met a man named Tony Blazer who completely transformed my life. He helped me develop a language through the art of molding clay. I will be forever grateful,” said Hanlon.