Object Lesson: the story behind Starpoint School’s signature statue.
by Caroline Collier Photography by Leo Wesson
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Topics: object lesson
by Caroline Collier
Photography by Leo Wesson
Starpoint was dear to M.J. and Alice Neeley, who founded the special education school in 1966. The philanthropist couple raised funds to construct a building on campus for the school, which opened in 1978.
After Alice Neeley’s death in 1986, her husband commissioned a statue in commemoration. To guide the artist, he chose a photograph of his wife’s mother, Mary Brazelton Snead, reading to the couple’s daughters, Marian and Kathleen. Neeley hired Bahamas-based sculptor Randolph Wardell Johnston to replicate the photograph. Bronzart Foundry in Sarasota, Fla., made the bronze cast of the life-size statue that stands outside Starpoint.
Neeley named the finished artwork Yearning to Know. A dedication ceremony was organized on Oct. 28, 1990. “It was hotter than Hades, but we had such a wonderful occasion,” said Columba Reid, a longtime associate of the philanthropist.
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