HIJO DEL ALMA
JOSE MANUEL COLLAZO PLAYGROUND
HACE CDC | NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS | TALLER PUERTORRIQUENO
Tu flotas sobre todo,
Hijo del alma!
...begins the poem Hijo del Alma by Jose Martí from his book Ismaelillo. The words of this poem inspired the memorial to Jose Manuel Collazo at the playground named after him in Fairhill.
In 2001, The City of Philadelphia named a local playground after a young boy who was tragically killed at that site 45 years ago. With funding by a National Endowment for the Arts grant, project partners Trust for Public Land, HACE CDC, Stantec And Philadelphia's Parks and Recreation renovated the playground. I was asked to contribute a memorial to young Jose in a piece that recognizes this site and its importance to his family and the surrounding community. The panels of laser-cut steel illustrate the verses of the poem which recall the author's own sense of longing and loss of his son while in exile. They are interpreted through the lens of children and parents at play with personal histories.