Matthew 25: Six public art sculptures depicting basic human rights to be installed around city

Community West Foundation and Bridge CLE will dedicate the first installation of
the Matthew 25 Collection with the sculpture “When I Was in Prison” today, Thursday, Sep. 16, at Bridge CLE, 3389 Fulton Road in Clark-Fulton.

“When I Was in Prison” portrays the loneliness of people who are incarcerated and the struggles they face upon reentry into our society. Created by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz, Community West is bringing the collection to Cleveland with the hope it will expand conversation around issues of social justice, privilege, compassion, and empathy.

“Our work has always been to connect people with life-giving friendships and support,” said Bridge CLE director of mission development Jack McClelland in a statement. “We all find ourselves, at one time or another, living in a prison. Sometimes the prison is physical. Sometimes it's emotional. Sometimes it's spiritual. This statue is a moving and needed reminder of the responsibility that we all have to care for one another.”

The Matthew 25 Collection is a six-sculpture series. “When I Was Hungry and Thirsty” was acquired by Old Stone Church in Public Square several years ago and is already installed in front of the church.  

Community West Foundation worked with local nonprofit LAND studio to design a master plan for the installation of the remaining five sculptures throughout the community, which will debut over the next few months.

The remaining four sculptures to be installed later this year are:
The life-sized bronze sculptures are three dimensional and first made from clay at Schmalz’s home, from which he makes rubber molds and then uses a foundry to make bronze casts.

Once installed, Cleveland will be only the second city in the world, following Rome, to have
the full collection of all six bronze figures in the Matthew 25 Collection.

“This art is not only a visual representation of our mission, but it also depicts basic human rights,” Community West Foundation president and CEO Marty Uhle said in a statement. “We are eager to continue the conversation through this public art.”

The dedication of the sculpture is at 6:15 p.m. at Bridge CLE, 3389 Fulton Road.