By Kelly Werthmann
LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4)– Every sculpture Jane DeDecker creates tells a story, “I’ve been able to do things that speak of family and family values.”
Her latest piece, handcrafted in her Loveland studio, comes straight from history.
“There’s Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” DeDecker points out as she works on the clay statue.
The work of art symbolizes the story of the many women who worked tirelessly for equal rights. Titled “Every Word We Utter,” DeDecker’s creation depicts Sojourner Truth, young Harriet Stanton Blatch and suffragists who helped achieve the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
“It was really important for me to have height,” DeDecker said as she described her statue to CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann, “because I really wanted to elevate the stature of women. It’s really sort of a rising up.”
As DeDecker carefully molds the clay and shapes the faces of the women who shaped history, she is often moved to tears.
“It’s just from the dedication that women have to make the world a better place,” DeDecker said tearfully. “It’s time we give them some accolades.”
Which is why DeDecker has plans to make her current sculpture design even bigger. She wants to make it a monument in Washington, D.C.
“This is sort of my blueprint to my larger sculpture,” she said.
But, before the Colorado artist’s dream can become a reality in the nation’s capital, she needs some help from the community.
“They can contact their congressman wherever they live and say, ‘I want to get behind this and I want you to support this,’” Jody Shadduck-McNally said.
Shadduck-McNally is the project coordinator and longtime friend of DeDecker. For the last few months, she has worked on the application process to get “Every Word We Utter” to become a monument. Next week, the two women will travel to Washington, D.C. together to meet with the National Park Service and state representatives.
“We found there are 152 sculptures on National Park Service land and only three commemorate women, and only one of those is the likeness of women,” Shadduck-McNally said. “We feel there’s a huge inequity.”
The hope is to have a 20-foot, cast in bronze version of “Every Word We Utter” standing tall in D.C. by 2020, in time for the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. It’s DeDecker’s way of continuing the story of inspiring women for generations to come.
“I would love to have every woman to see that and give them some sense of value,” DeDecker said.
LINK: Every Word We Utter
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team as the morning reporter in 2012. After serving as weekend morning anchor, Kelly is now Covering Colorado First for CBS4 News at 10. Connect with Kelly on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @KellyCBS4.