The City of Rosemead in Los Angeles has unveiled “Reflect,” a public sculpture that incorporates a steel beam from the World Trade Center. “Reflect “is currently on display at the City Hall Plaza commemorating the lives of the nearly 3,000 people who died 10 years ago on September 11. The sculpture of two hands fashioned from thousands of dove-like cutouts, carries a steel girder from the World Trade Center just as emergency personnel carried victims on September 11, 2001. A dove represents each victim. The sculpture was created by local artist Heath Satow.
Satow spent five months in his downtown Los Angeles studio bending and welding the bird-shaped figures together to form the two hands that hold the rusting, 10-foot section of I-beam. Rosemead officials commissioned the sculpture, called “Reflect,” two years ago when Satow was operating out of a workshop in nearby Alhambra. Satow chose the I-beam from a catalog of World Trade Center artifacts maintained by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Rosemead parks director David Montgomery Scott arranged for the Port Authority to release the 500-pound beam to the city. Satow said he came up with four potential sculpture designs, which were narrowed down to two and voted on in mid-2010 by Rosemead residents. They overwhelmingly chose the design with the two hands, said city spokeswoman Aileen Flores.
The $60,000 art project was financed with donations and money raised by events including spaghetti dinners and food booths at the city’s concerts in the park, 5K runs and the sale of memorial bricks, Armenta said.
Satow, 41, said each of the bird-like figures was cut from 1/8-inch steel by automated lasers and then polished, bent and welded by hand. “It’s the most labor-intensive piece I’ve ever done,” he said. “It was really heavy creating each bird, knowing that it represented a real person. It was taking a toll — I was getting really depressed working on it.”