Press Release 4/2002

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Wyolah Garden
(415) 995-2652

18 foot Bronze Monument
Dedicated to Celebrating Cultural Diversity and World Unity

San Francisco Bay Area, Calif. (April 4th, 2002) - Cheemah, Mother of the Spirit-Fire is an eighteen-foot tall bronze monument dedicated to celebrating cultural diversity, world unity and care for the earth. Osprey Orielle Lake is the artist and founder of the International Cheemah Monument Project. Ms. Lake's vision is to place eight Cheemah monuments around the world to create an inspiring bridge between cultures. Two of the eight monuments have already been installed, one at the Hamburg International Airport in Germany and another at a cultural center in Majorca, Spain.

A third Cheemah Monument, destined for North America, is currently being created by Ms. Lake at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, California. This statue will be erected at the Port of Oakland's highly visited Jack London Square where it will be on view to the public for generations to come.

The unveiling ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 16, 2002 at Jack London Square in Oakland, California, starting at 6 p.m. Osprey Orielle Lake will make a presentation, along with other celebrated speakers, including Mayor Jerry Brown. The public is welcome to attend free of admission.


Throughout history artists have profoundly impacted the human psyche with their imagery and music, spawning great social awareness. Artists are also a necessary ingredient in our work to create a more compassionate and peaceful future and clearly the Cheemah Project is a timely and significant contribution towards this positive world future.

The International Cheemah Monument Project is working towards the placement of meaningful and inspiring public monuments that turn people's thoughts to hope, self-responsibility and a more sustained and widespread honoring of all the people of the world.

Cheemah Monument Unveiling

The Cheemah Monument offers people the opportunity to experience art as a way to communicate important ideas and visions about our civilization. Conveying new ideas through images is a universal language that artists have participated in historically, and artist Osprey Orielle Lake is a true contributor to this tradition. Dedicated volunteers are actively seeking placements in Asia; Greece; South Africa; the United Kingdom; Australia and Central America.

The primary images in Cheemah, Mother of the Spirit-Fire are a magnificent soaring eagle in full flight and a dignified woman with a beautiful torch adorned with a ring of colored stones representing all the people of the world. The composition and overall image of the sculpture convey strength and victory; not the victory that comes with overpowering others, but rather the victory of seeking a unified positive future. The aim of this monument is to inspire the human heart and mind.

Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, said the following about artists and their role in peace-making:
"Artists have a special role to play in the global struggle for peace. At their best, artists speak not only to people; they speak for them. Art is a weapon against ignorance and hatred and an agent of public awareness. Art opens new doors for learning, understanding and peace among peoples and nations."

Due to Lake's dedication to designing images that give dynamic movement to a heavy dense metal like bronze, the Cheemah eagle literally appears to exist in the moment it catches the wind and begins to turn in a weightless gesture of flight. This movement mirrors Lake's efforts to uplift our thoughts toward a compassionate future.

Osprey Orielle Lake spoke at the State of the World Forum, a gathering of 700 leaders from 120 countries, where she said "I welcome you to the message of hope that Cheemah, Mother of the Spirit-Fire brings to our united future in every nation. This monument is dedicated to healing the differences existing among our world family and to working together to heal our relationship with our home planet. Cheemah carries the torch of hope and peace that welcomes open talk among the people of our world. With this torch, adorned with earth medallions, Cheemah is the symbol of the light that illuminates the best in humanity. When each of us gives our best, we can create solutions so needed in our time."

The Cheemah monuments are being created by Lake at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, California. One was placed at the Hamburg International Airport in Germany and another in Majorca, Spain. Piero Mussi of Artworks Foundry has said of the monument: "When we work with bigger sculptures, artists have a tendency to simplify and they don't want to get into the details. But this sculpture is really an exception."


Osprey Orielle Lake has been sculpting and teaching for 15 years, and her bronze sculptures are exhibited and collected internationally. During her college years Osprey studied both Ancient History and Natural History at Reed College and at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Traveling extensively throughout Europe and the United States, Ms. Lake has continued studying ancient peoples worldwide. Through her sculptures, she strives to create timeless works that blend both modern and ancient symbols into meaningful statements about the challenges and beauty of life.

In addition to creating challenging and poignant works of art, Osprey also teaches young people to become confident artists and businesspeople. Through her international projects that involve volunteers and supporters from many countries, she works for a shared goal, and at the same time creates opportunities for others to reach their own potential to give back to society.

Osprey regularly makes educational presentations at schools and civic organizations, including discussions about cultural diversity, the environment, and art. For example, she spoke at Oakland Technical High School, where Osprey encouraged ninth and tenth graders to choose following their dreams even when facing huge obstacles in their lives. She also spoke with them about what it means to live in a culturally diverse world with respect instead of fear, and how to create hope in their lives.

Wyolah Garden, Executive Director, CA, Inc.
direct (415) 927-4092
voice mail (415) 995-2652
fax (415) 927-4832


Color and b/w photographs of the artist and the monument are available.
Osprey Orielle Lake is available for interviews.
Tours of the foundry during the making of the monument can be arranged.

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