May 31, 2011 7:20 PM by Chris Welty

Rosa Parks Memorial Unveiled

A new monument was unveiled in Lafayette Tuesday.

Dozens gathered as the Rosa Parks Memorial Statue was unveiled at the Rosa Parks Transportation Center. Last Friday, the installation on the project was completed and KATC'S Chris Welty caught up with the artist who sculpted the piece.

"I've been blessed in having the opportunity to display my art this way in front of people who appreciate it," said Erik Blome.

Since childhood, Erik Blome has had a passion for art. His father hooked him on it at an early age, and in his twenties, he started creating sculptures. He has 45 pieces across the country, including two other Rosa Parks monuments; one in Montgomery, Alabama and another in Dallas.

"It really does look like the actual person. It looks like she is waiting to catch the bus and she is peaceful," said Santana Johnson.

One of the unique things about the Rosa Parks statue is that it is created to be life size. This allows you to sit with her and interact with the art work a little bit more.

"For me, the meaning is more powerful at a size that is just life size instead of a monumental size," said Blome.

Though Santana Johnson is too young to have lived the struggles of the civil rights movement, but admires Rosa Parks' determination to make a difference for generations to come. "Getting onto the bus and having to sit in the back and every one else could sit in the front, but the blacks had to sit in the back."

"She stood up for the rights that were her rights. She wasn't trying to get any new right other than the one that she deserved," said Blome.

Chris Welty



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