November 12 meeting with Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation

Above: Juan Gonzalez and Douglas Kornfeld meet with the JPNDC to present the preliminary design for the sculpture to go in Mozart Park.

An EXCELLENT meeting at the JPDC with Juan Gonzalez presiding. Despite the fact that Juan had to translate every word I said into spanish and visa versa I got a hearty round of applause at the end of my presentation. They were quite enthusiastic and all of them asked to be invited when the sculpture is installed and dedicated.

I got a few questions of note: One was about the location - so far into the park - was there not another spot? I replied that this space was the least disruptive of the park and did not require the removal of any mature trees.

Also I did not want to infringe on Madego's space. (the food concession cart at the corner of Mozart St and Centre St) This was the only other spot a sculpture of this size could have been placed. They all seemed quite satisfied by my explanation.

They also wondered if the sculpture might not be visible enough. I responded that the bright stainless steel along with the mirror surfaces of the figure heads would certainly catch the light. I also noted on my way home that there is a large light that shines on that spot in the park giving the project free illumination.

During the presentation a woman brought to my attention that there is a doll that is very much a part of the Dominican culture that has different varieties of dress but does not have a face. She thought this was a an interesting connection. She offered to go up to her apartment and bring it down to show me. I had my photo taken with her and the doll. As all the iconic figures in the sculpture have no faces I found this connection to be extremely exciting and another tangible connection of the sculpture to a large part of the local community.

One woman did raise the issue of the park being named after Mozart and had I considered tying a theme of music into the piece? I responded that I had heard there were some who were calling for the renaming of the park which might make the tie-in problematic but I also said that the immigrant theme seemed to me to resonate with a larger audience. Some might not be interested in music but all of us, except Native Americans, have a connection to the immigrant experience.

Both Juan and I agreed that the meeting was a wonderful success and Juan was quite sure they all were very pleased with the preliminary design.

Above: Kornfeld poses with a woman attending the meeting. The ceramic doll is an example of the "doll with no face" typically found in the Domincan Republic.

Above: Another meeting attendee examining the Dominican doll.