Henrietta Lacks statue artists make progress on dedication sculpture in Roanoke

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 5:36 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Progress is being made on the Henrietta Lacks statue that will soon be in downtown Roanoke in Lacks Plaza.

The sculptor, Larry Bechtel, has started work on a 24-inch model prototype that’s made in clay over a wire material. Artist Bryce Cobbs, who created the sketch, has been working with Bechtel throughout the process.

Roanoke City leaders exceeded their fundraising goal of $160,000 by an additional $20,000.

Click here for other stories on Black History Month

Council member Trish White-Boyd spearheaded the statue dedication project. She explained there is a lot of pride to know Lacks was originally from Roanoke.

”Henrietta is a life saver and a game changer and a woman that we should all appreciate and recognize,” White-Boyd said. “That’s why I want to memorialize her here in Roanoke City.”

Bechtel is using an oil-based modeling clay that will be replicated in bronze. The artists plan to reveal the finished sculpture in October 2023.

WDBJ7 did a full profile on the artists behind the sculpture that you can find here.