One of Hawai‘i’s most revered politicians, determined advocate for gender equality, and champion of civil rights Patsy T. Mink will soon have a statue built to honor her memory.
A Design Selection Committee commissioned by the State Legislature, approved the design for a sculpture depicting US Representative Mink which will be located on the lawn fronting the Hawaiʻi State Public Library and is expected to be unveiled in 2017.
The committee on January 14 selected Hawai‘i Island artist Holly Young to create a bronze sculpture at a proposed cost of $138,000.
Young’s previous work included the creation of many other figurative sculptures including the statue of Queen Kapi‘olani which stands in Queen Kapi‘olani Regional Park on O‘ahu.
“Congresswoman Mink had a profound impact on Hawai‘i and our country by working tirelessly for women, social and economic justice, health care, education, and other causes she felt passionately for. She is an inspiration to us all,” said chairwoman Gladys Quinto Marrone, CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaiʻi and a former Mink staffer.
“This project is important because Mrs. Mink’s legacy must be kept alive for future generations. This art will allow visitors to get to know her and learn about her commitment to public service, which was unparalleled. They will know of her leadership, wisdom, tenacity, and her character. She was our champion, role model, and a trailblazer and we are all the better for it.” The Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts is administering the project.
Mink was born in Pāʻia on Maui on Dec. 6, 1927 and graduated from Maui High School in 1944. She served in the US House of Representatives for 12 terms and represented Hawai’i’s at-large and second congressional districts. While in Congress she co-authored Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, opening up school athletics and academics to women.
She died on Sept. 28, 2002 at age 74.
“I think the statue design invites people to consider varied aspects of my mother’s service and to identify her legacy for themselves,” said her daughter, Wendy Mink in a press release statement. “ The statue itself will convey my mother’s indomitable passion, courage, and commitment across a lifetime of work for peace and social justice, civil rights and equality, respect for cultures and nature, and the expansion of opportunity to all.”