Cedar Park City Council sends Vietnam War sculpture back to arts board to reconsider inclusion of military women

Cedar Park City Council sent a proposed Vietnam War sculpture back to its arts board in February to reconsider inclusion of military women in the design.

Cedar Park City Council sent a proposed Vietnam War sculpture back to its arts board in February to reconsider inclusion of military women in the design.

A proposed Vietnam War military sculpture has been sent back to the drawing board after some Cedar Park City Council members said women should be represented in the design.

During a Feb. 8 meeting, City Council reviewed an agreement with artist Matt Glenn in the amount of $77, 800 from the city's public art fund for the sculpture, which depicts two life-size bronze figures. The sculpture is planned to be installed in Veteran's Memorial Park.

When presented with the design, some council members voiced their disappointment with the lack of military women portrayal. City Council Member Anne Duffy said the council had previously requested to see depictions of women in uniform from the city's Parks, Arts and Community Enrichment, or PACE, board, which recommended the Vietnam War sculpture to City Council.

"Women haven't really been portrayed in their roles in the military in the movies; naturally, we all know this," Duffy said. "Those untold stories have consequences for how Americans see women in uniform and how they see themselves."

In January, Cedar Park City Council approved commissioning a public safety statue depicting a female police officer and a male firefighter in front of the Cedar Park Police Department.

Cedar Park Project Manager Kimberly Reese said the PACE board unanimously voted in favor of recommending the design after a process of several months. She said the PACE board wanted to have a frontline combat position displayed in this piece.

"They were trying to depict some racial diversity in this piece with the person on the right being an African American soldier," she said.

Reese said the board previously discussed the inclusion of military women in the proposed design but predicted displaying women in future pieces.

"I think waiting until even further down the road is too long," City Council Member Heather Jefts said. "Women participated quite heavily in the Vietnam War...I think our memorial is to all of the people who have served, not just the men who have served."

Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell said the council wants the sculpture to be very representative of service to the country.

"I'm personally comfortable with asking PACE to review this further," he said.

City Council voted to refer the proposed Vietnam War military sculpture design back to the PACE board for the reconsideration of women representation at Veterans Memorial Park in its meeting Feb. 8.

During a Feb. 12 meeting, the PACE board heard comments provided by City Council and could review the design in a future meeting.


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