Sculptor Lori Kiplinger Pandy meets with officials and commissioners on site at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts in Colorado Springs, CO

My job as a sculptor is to learn all I can about a person, study them, then express who they are and what they have done in the medium of bronze. To do that I read as much as I can about the individual, talk to people who knew them and try to get to know them on a personal level as best as I can. I also need to know where the sculpture will be installed and how it will be viewed so that I can incorporate that into the design of the work.

The Fannie Mae Duncan sculpture project started by talking with Kay (Kathleen) Esmiol, retired Academy School District 20 English teacher and author of Everybody Welcome: A Memoir of Fannie Mae Duncan and the Cotton Club and reading her book thoroughly.

I also drove down to Colorado Springs to meet with everyone involved in this project and to discuss the installation location options at the Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts, where I took many photographs and measurements for consideration as I design the life size sculpture.

Photo of Lori Kiplinger Pandy's desk and working binder for Fannie Mae Duncan Sculpture

This is how I start my research: first by reading the book and making copious notes, highlights and tabs in the book that I feel will help me in envisioning the sculpture. I collect my information in a notebook so that I can continue to add to the information and review everything as I work. 

Photo showing highlighting and notes of Fannie Mae Duncan biography by Kathleen Esmiol
Lori Kiplinger Pandy's working binder full of photos and notes for the Fannie Mae Duncan sculpture project
Pages of notes from Lori Kiplinger Pandy's Fannie Mae Duncan sculpture project

In my notes I make a timeline and jot down impressions and ideas. I can refer back to these notes at any time to refresh my memory and build on ideas. I also include additional research such as period clothing notes as well.

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