Springfield College Visual and Performing Arts major and Connecticut native Lisa Barrett has used her artistic talents to help pay homage to the families affected in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. Barrett’s project includes the creation of a memorial fountain that is designed to honor and celebrate the lives that were lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012.
“I knew I did not want to contribute to the sadness. I wanted instead to do something to honor and celebrate their lives," said Barrett. "The next I woke with a vision, which I immediately put on canvas. My vision was of six iris flowers to represent the adults, 20 cone flowers to represent the children, each flower has their own butterfly and all 26 pieces are imbedded in a quartz base. Every piece has specific healing properties which will be engraved on a plaque near the fountain.”
After nearly two years of dedication and hard work by more than 30 co-creators and more than 150 individuals representing construction crews, welders, architects, rock drillers, crane operators, and landscapers, the Sandy Hook Memorial Fountain had a grand unveiling on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at the site of the fountain located at Aqua Scapes of Connecticut in Portland, Connecticut.
“Fountains are soothing and I hope people will feel a sense of calm, peaceful comfort, and joy when theyview the fountain,” said Barrett. “The location is in a beautiful country setting, and the landscaping will include a walkway around the base, three quartz benches, real iris flowers, cone flowers and butterfly bushes to match the beautiful metal flowers.”
Since beginning the project, Barrett has been able to meet with a few of the family members who lost their loved ones during the tragedy. Barrett has delivered presentations regarding her project to the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Committee twice, which includes four Sandy Hook parents on the committee.
“The main reason why all of the co-creators came on board was everybody has been affected by the tragedy in some way,” said Barrett. “Many individuals wanted to do something, but just didn’t know exactly what to do to assist with the healing. The fountain created a vehicle for everyone to give back in some way. All of the individuals involved in the production of the fountain have donated 100 percent of their time and materials. Upon completion of the memorial fountain, there will be a total of approximately $50,000 in donated services.”
With the final completion of the memorial fountain in sight, Barrett has been able to look back at all of the hard work and collaboration that has taken place over the two years and feel a sense of satisfaction that this memorial fountain has brought a community together to heal in unison.
“After the major installation was completed consisting of the 12,000 lb. quartz base and three quartz benches on December 8, 2014, I was up on a ladder marking where I wanted the metal flowers to go and I started to get emotional when it was time to mark the last one,” said Barrett. “I was able to see the flowers temporarily imbedded and I started to think about the two years of work, and the 10-hour days working on the project. When all of the equipment trucks left the location on that December installation day, I was just speechless.”
For more information about the official unveiling ceremony, check out the Sandy Hook Memorial Fountain’s official facebook page at Facebook.com/SandyHookMemorialFountain.
Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. The college is ranked in the 2015 edition of “Best Colleges” in the top tier of “Best Regional Universities – North Region” by U.S.News and World Report, and is designated as a premier Leadership Development Center by the YMCA of the USA. More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses across the country.