Patriot Plaza art honors veterans, inspires patriotism

Posted on March 06, 2013 by The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation recently shared a preview of the commissioned artwork that will be incorporated into Patriot Plaza at Sarasota National Cemetery. The art featured throughout the 1.83-acre space honors veterans and inspires patriotism while telling the story of the complex facets of service and sacrifice that touch all veterans and their families.

“This art truly is about touching the soul as it honors our veterans,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “This is a legacy to all generations – whether you are serving, have served or know someone who has, you will feel the emotional story embodied in the art at Patriot Plaza.”

Patriot Plaza will feature original sculptures, paintings and photography by nationally recognized artists that together tell the journey of service men and women and their families. The artists featured in Patriot Plaza include lead artist Larry Kirkland (Disabled Veterans for Life Memorial in Washington, D.C.), Ellen Driscoll (Gates at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City), Pablo Eduardo (Cesar Chavez Sculpture at University of Texas at Austin) and Ann Hirsch (commissions for the Montauk Lighthouse Museum).

“I am particularly interested in Patriot Plaza as I come from a military family. I know from experience that military life has challenges and rewards, dedication and commitment,” said Larry Kirkland, lead artist for Patriot Plaza. “It is my hope that those who choose to spend time engaged with the art are moved to honor those who serve and respect those who support our service men and women.”

The artists were selected following a national call for artists. The Patterson Foundation enlisted the expertise of Ann Wykell, an art consultant, and a volunteer art advisory group of local and regional experts to carry the call that met national standards and attracted both local and national responses. The art advisory group also sent private invitations to artists with acclaimed work in specified areas.

The commissioned art will cost approximately $2 million and is fully funded by The Patterson Foundation. Local resources – such as a Sarasota foundry – will be used in fabrication and installation of the art.

Patriot Plaza is an unprecedented partnership between The Patterson Foundation and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs – National Cemetery Administration, marking the first time an initiative of this size at a national cemetery was funded by private philanthropy. The Patterson Foundation is fully funding the design and construction of Patriot Plaza and replacement maintenance in perpetuity. Construction on Patriot Plaza began in December 2012 with a dedication planned for the spring of 2014.

For more information about Patriot Plaza and background on the artwork and artists, please visit

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