North Carolina State University’s School of Design alumnus Heath Satow has been hired to create a new statue to pay tribute to transgender victims of violence.
The Transgender Community Coalition commissioned the work from Satow, which is based on an idea by Thomi Clinton, to be completed in time for next year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance in Palm Springs, California.
Clinton is an activist and coalition director, and told The Desert Sun that he got the idea for the piece in 2014 when Yaz’min Shancez was shot and then burned behind a garage in Florida, leaving a silhouette where her remains were discovered.
“Trans people have a history of being oppressed and hurt,” Clinton told the paper. “The statue represents the struggles, the hardships, and the victimization the trans community faces.”
“I’m all about the underdog,” Satow said. “This is a memorial for people who are often looked down upon by society. It’s an issue we have to discuss.”
Satow is based in Los Angeles and grew up in both North Carolina and Ohio.
He is known for his 9/11 memorial statue called Reflect. Commissioned by the city of Rosemead, California. The piece is 7 feet by 10 feet, and is made up of two hands, created with over 3,000 stainless steel doves, lifting up one of the beams from the World Trade Center (pictured below).
He will begin working on the transgender tribute later this year, with the help of donations. Its final location within the city is still to be determined.