Prevent the "Firestorm" statue installation in Medford, OR

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Prevent the "Firestorm" statue installation in Medford, OR

This petition made change with 2,211 supporters!
Mandy Capehart started this petition to Downtown Medford Association

This petition is intended to demonstrate that the residents of Medford and the surrounding cities do not want this statue installed as a reminder of the devastation and loss suffered in our valley.

A private artist living in Michigan with roots in the Rogue Valley intends to install a 20-ft, $75,000 steel statue in downtown Medford to honor the victims of the Alameda Fire from September 2020. According to the designer (brother to city employee Sam Barnum, Medford building safety director), the design is intended to "look like the fire (is) dancing around these figures at night."

Artist Robert Barnum said he chose materials to "last centuries" so the design and memory of the fire would live on; to not be forgotten in a few years. He called his work, "A beacon for change that will last for centuries."

This installation as designed will serve as a beacon of trauma for the victims and their families of the Alameda (aka Almeda) Fire of 2020. The design is visceral. Although the intention of the artist is to demonstrate strength and resilience, the gut reaction to this design is more a reminder of the people and property lost in the fire. It's not the right design for this city as it attempts to continue healing and rebuilding. The imagery is far too graphic because of the context in which it would be placed.

As of 24 hours after the petition started, the city of Medford has declared they will rescind their own $33,000+ contribution to the project. This is still a private project, and intended for private property. As such, the Downtown Medford Association to reconsider their choice of artist and design altogether.

Grief literacy is necessary for all - not just grievers - in order for a community to learn how to heal and support one another through recovery. This commissioned work demonstrates a complete lack of said literacy, and cannot be allowed to represent the City of Medford.

Mail Tribune article about the statue

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This petition made change with 2,211 supporters!

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