I Have A Dream, 1978
Abbott L. Pattison
Campus of Chicago State University
9500 South Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
In 1977, an art committee from Chicago State University, with support from the B. F. Ferguson Monument Fund, commissioned Chicago-based sculptor Abbott Pattison to create a work memorializing the late civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. using as a theme King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech delivered in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963. During the planning of the memorial, the artist experienced a dream that combined images from King’s marches calling for brotherhood with a scene of a stone being thrown into a pond, creating circles that radiated from the center. In his dream, Pattison embraced three figures, an African-American man, woman and child, and promised them he would reach out to other strangers. In order to illustrate these interlocking themes, Pattison designed a group of five figures, recognizable as human but composed of crumpled, stylized forms, on a low base. Placed roughly in a circle with their backs to each other, the figures gesture outwardly with their hands, appearing to entreat the viewer to consider their plea for harmony and equality.