Public Art

The Winning Poem

By J. Seward Johnson
Category: Sculpture


J. Seward Johnson studied at the University of Maine and at Harvard University. He has produced numerous sculptures for public places. The developers of the new downtown shopping mall commissioned Johnson to execute a statue that would be “representative of St. Louis.” A contest was held asking area residents to complete the sentence, “I picture myself as a work of art because . . .” Mrs. Julie Wier, a former cancer patient, responded, “The diagnosis was cancer . . . here I am, alive and well. I’m the survivor type. That’s why the statue should be me.” Johnson chose to represent his subject in a casual position with pencil in hand, showing her interest in impromptu poetry that she would write while managing her hectic household raising six children.

Dimensions: 4′ x 4′ 8
Year Completed: 1984
Material: Bronze and paint
Owner: Chesterfield Arts
Donor: The Sachs Fund

About the artist: