The Turtle Island Monument is an unprecedented, multi-visionary approach to the making of a public art monument designed to honor and recognize Native American history. Begun in 1992 by Marlene Watson and Lee Sprague, in conjunction with the City of Berkeley, California, Turtle Island Monument creates a monument to all native peoples of the Americas and recognizes the origins of Turtle Island. This project is currently underway and will be part of the renovation of Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in downtown Berkeley.
The four loggerhead sea turtles will be mounted in the lower pool of an existing historical fountain. The four loggerhead turtles weigh nearly 200 pounds each and are 46 inches in length. I also worked with eight native artist to create eight 3-ft. diameter stone medallions that will be embedded into rock formations within the monument. Actual installation of the project is forthcoming and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2024. The turtles are on display and available for viewing in Berkeley City Hall.