Official rendering of the monument by artist Anthony Goicolea. Image via LGBT Memorial Commission.

Just as New York Pride events wrapped up this past Sunday, Governor Cuomo announced the winning design for the first official state of New York sponsored monument honoring the LGBT community. A plan for this monument has been in the works since Cuomo passed an executive order to establish the LGBT Memorial Commission following the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting in June 2016. 

Ariel view of the planned area for the monument’s new home. Image via LGBT Memorial Commission.

Criteria for the competition were numerous, but the final design had to honor the fight for equal rights and all victims of hate, intolerance and violence, as well as complement the site selected for the memorial: a space in Hudson River Park, along the West edge of Greenwich Village.

Artists and architects from across the city were invited to participate in the competition, which required them to submit a rendering of their idea, an artists’ statement and plans for construction among a host of other stipulations. In the end, it was first-generation Cuban American artist and Brooklyn resident, Anthony Goicolea, whose proposal was selected.

The design features nine modified boulders that will have prism-like components built into the rocks to emanate subtle rainbows. As told to the New York Times, Goicolea says he took inspiration from Stonehenge, East Island, burial mounds and African Stone Circle. As someone who frequently runs in Hudson River Park, he “wanted something usable and functional … that was not going to take away part of the space.”

Night rendering of the monument created by Anthony Goicolea. Image via LGBT Memorial Commission.

It seems that Goicolea, who now lives with his husband in Brooklyn, was in many ways the perfect fit for this project. As expressed in Goicolea’s official bio, his work has always used a variety of media, including paintings, photography, sculpture and installation to explore complex themes that stem from his extended family’s fleeing of Cuba and the regime of Fidel Castro. With this cultural background “underpinning his work,” Goicolea has used his art to delve into ideas from “personal history and identity, to cultural tradition and heritage, to alienation and displacement.”

According to a Statement from Gov. Cuomo, “(Goicolea’s) stunning design complements the landscape and communicates a timeless message of inclusion, and this monument will serve as an enduring symbol of the role New Yorkers play in building a fairer, more just world,” he says. “From Stonewall to marriage equality, New York has always been a beacon for justice and we will never waiver in our commitment to the LGBT community and to creating a more just and inclusive society. This new monument will stand up for those values for generations to come.”

Next, check out how other world monuments, including 1 WTC and the Eiffel Tower Honored LGBTQ Orlando Victims or take advantage of your last few days to see 21 Outdoor Art Installations Not to Miss in NYC in June 2017. Get in touch with the author: @Erika_A_Stark.