Semi-Finalists To Present Design Concepts For Ed Johnson Memorial

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Three semi-finalist teams chosen to create design concepts for the Ed Johnson Memorial will present their work to the public this week. The permanent memorial at the south end of the Walnut Street Bridge will commemorate the life of Ed Johnson, honor the courageous work of his attorneys and recognize the resulting United States Supreme Court case.

The artist and design teams will be in Chattanooga on Thursday, and will present their designs at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. After the presentation, everyone is invited to talk to the teams and to submit written comments and feedback. All feedback will be compiled and given to the Selection Committee, who will choose a final design.

The teams visited Chattanooga last fall after they were selected and have spent the last three months working on their concepts. Their presentations on Thursday will include models, poster boards and digital presentations of their work. 

A selection committee of Chattanooga citizens nominated by Public Art Chattanooga and the Ed Johnson Committee will choose the final design, which will be announced in March. The selection committee is comprised of a diverse group of professionals, artists and community representatives in order to provide a range of perspectives.

The three semi-finalist teams are:

  • Rodney Leon, of Rodney Leon Architects; artist Ai Qiu Hopen: and Elizabeth Kennedy, of Elizabeth Kennedy Landscape Architect; 
  • NBW Landscape Architects and Lord Cultural Resources; 
  • Jerome Meadows, of Meadowlark Studio; Mike Fowler and Aaron Shugart-Brown, of Ross/Fowler Landscape Architecture; artists Jan Chenoweth and Roger Halligan; Charlie Anderson, of Full Circle Stoneworks; and LesLee Ames, community and team coordinator. 

To learn more about the teams and to see their previous work, visit

The teams have designed and created outstanding public art, commemorative sites and memorials across the country. Their previous work includes the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania; the African Burial Ground Memorial in New York; the Gate of Freedom in Birmingham; and theAfrican Burying Ground and Memorial Park in New Hampshire.

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