The 13-foot tall sculpture standing in the Bicentennial Park in downtown Princeton, Indiana, draws attention not just for its size, but its color and shape as well.
The work — commissioned by Princeton resident Linda Settle — was completed by Oakland City artist Bob Zasadny and erected in May. The semi-colon is a symbol many suicide awareness organizations adopt as a way to remind those struggling that their stories are not over yet. The colors (black, purple, teal, and yellow) represent a theme of “out of the darkness, into the light.”
“My heart was in it, especially after hearing the stories,” says Zasadny. “There were some tears in my eyes, meeting some of the people and hearing their stories. It was a very emotional experience.”
In the fall of 2018, Zasadny was contacted by Settle, who lost her grandson to suicide, and the two worked together on various proposals and approached the Princeton City Council for support. Once approved, Zasadny spent the winter months creating the piece, using foam and fiberglass (typical materials he uses in all his sculptures), with many local businesses donating materials and services for the project.
“I hope, in some way, the piece is an effective symbol that causes people to think seriously about how precious life can be and to seek help,” says Zasadny.