Park art to honor Peratrovich

Sculpture would be created by their son

Posted: Monday, April 03, 2006

ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Park Foundation will seek $80,000 to install a sculpture honoring the late anti-discrimination leaders Elizabeth and Roy Peratrovich at the park named for them, and the sculptor has a familiar name.

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The Peratrovich's oldest son, Roy Peratrovich Jr., designed "Flight of the Raven" to honor his parents.

The engineer and artist has had work displayed at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., and the Alaska Capitol.

"I wanted to honor the work my parents have done against discrimination," Peratrovich said from his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

In doing so, he recalled the Tlingit legend of Raven, who stole the sun from an ancient chief and gave it to the people.

"Raven is respected for what he's done and is common to many Alaskan tribes," he said. "I wanted something that would be acceptable to our Native people in the north as well as the Southeast."

The sculpture will feature a 10-foot stainless-steel column of twisted and curved gray smoke. Atop the smoke trail will sit a bronze raven, finished with a highly polished black patina and a 4-foot wingspan. Its beak will hold a 2-inch polished quartz with thin gold seams to represent the sun.

The sculpture will symbolize shedding the dark days of discrimination and the rising hopes and dreams of people once oppressed, he said.

"It's fitting to use a raven because my mother was of the Raven clan and she brought light to the world through what she did," he said.

The Peratrovichs were leaders of the anti-discrimination movement in Alaska during the 1940s and leaders in the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood organizations. A plaque will tell the story of the Peratrovichs' achievements.

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