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Robert Katz Selected as Finalist in City of Portland MLK Memorial

UMA Professor selected as a finalist for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Design Competition

City of Portland seeks to acknowledge and recognize legacy of civil right leader

Robert Katz, who serves on the art faculty at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA), has been selected as one of the three finalists to design and fabricate a permanent memorial dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that will be located on the Bayside Trail in Portland.

This past winter the Portland City Council established the Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Task Force to consider how Portland could acknowledge and recognize the legacy of the civil rights leader. Members of this task force established a memorial selection committee to oversee the competition and selection process.

After learning about this competition, Katz spent most of the early summer developing a conceptual plan that he submitted in mid-June. A few weeks ago, he was notified that his 14-page proposal was chosen as a finalist. Two other established architectural design/landscaping firms from Maine and New Hampshire were also selected as finalists.

Katz put together a team of designers, architects, and historians all who have a direct relationship with UMA. These include both teachers and past students of the art and architecture programs. He will continue to collaborate with members of his team through the final design process. He will present his model and drawings at the Portland City Hall on November 14, 2019. The successful finalist is anticipated to be announced on January 2020. This will be one of the most ambitious public art projects in the State of Maine.

For more information about the team and their design concepts, you can contact Professor Katz a 592-8639 or rkatz@maine.edu.

Learn more about the City of Portland Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Task Force.

About Professor Robert Katz

Robert Katz joined the UMA art faculty in 1981 and since then he has been teaching classes in sculpture, 3 D design and drawing.

As an artist, his sculptures are often fabricated in welded steel as well as mixed-media constructions. His art has been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the country and he was one of seven North American artists invited to exhibit his work at the Jiangsu Art Academy in China. He has been commissioned to design numerous Maine Percent for Art projects. In 2018, his sculptural installation entitled, The Five Books of Moses was permanently installed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Most recently, he has served as a visiting artist and lecturer in England, Israel, Poland, China, and Newfoundland. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. He received his undergraduate degree from New York University and his MFA from the University of Montana.