Blackhawk Memorial prep coming along

Posted on October 9, 2015 by Mat Pellegrino

Pace High School art teacher Randy New has been hard at work on what will eventually become a memorial that will stand in Navarre for years to come, serving as a symbol of the primary mission of the armed forces, and the sacrifices those men and women make.
Earlier this week, the artist showed off a nearly complete clay rendering of the Blackhawk Memorial, which will be placed in Navarre Park.

“I completed the eagle in clay this weekend and transported it to the bronze foundry yesterday afternoon,” he told South Santa Rosa News earlier this week. “Soon, it will begin the long process of being converted into bronze.”
Leadership Santa Rosa Class 29 approached several local artists about creating the memorial, and ultimately chose New based on his extensive experience in the art industry.
“This is my 29th year as an art teacher. I have taught art at S.S. Dixon Intermediate School in Pace since 1994,” New said. “I will retire next year in order to pursue my career as an artist full time.”
Leadership Class 29 chose the Blackhawk Memorial as their class project after hearing about the Blackhawk Helicopter crash back on March 11. The memorial will pay tribute to the 11 servicemen who died in a training exercise in the sound back on March 11. It will also pay tribute to all branches of the armed forces.

New is not a “newbie” at all to bronze artistry.
“My first bronze statue was called ‘Homecoming’. I used my daughter as a model, and I dedicated it to my father who was killed in Vietnam in 1967,” New said.
“Homecoming” was installed at the Veterans Park in Pensacola on Veterans Day, 2000.
New is also responsible for creating a portrait bust of Benny Russell after his premature death in 1999.
“There is one bronze copy at the Benny Russell Park in Pace. One copy is at the Santa Rosa County School Board Office, and roughly twenty copies are at various schools throughout Santa Rosa County,” he said.
New also created the Yancy Spencer III memorial portrait that was erected on Pensacola Beach, the Korean War Memorial “Humanitarian Figure” at Veterans Park in Pensacola, and eight portrait sculptures for the Poarch Creek Indians in Atmore, Ala.
New said that when he was approached by Leadership Class 29 about the project, he knew right away that it was something he wanted to work on.
“Really the Leadership class of 29 came up with all of the elements they wanted in the memorial. I just visually arranged them,” New said.
There will be a secret element to the design that will be revealed on dedication day, which is expected to be next March, a year after the crash.
“My interest in the project is because I empathize with the families of the fallen soldiers because of my personal experience with my father,” he said.