Rockford Women’s Suffrage Plaza Benches
The six colorful mosaic benches surrounding the central tower are designed to give “a sense of place” to the Rockford Women’s Suffrage Plaza. Depicted on the benches are important landmarks, celebrated landscapes, iconic structures, familiar places, and beloved features unique to Rockford. The bench tops were created by Susan Burton, working collaboratively with Womanspace artists. Uniting and flowing through all of the benches are the Rock River, the Forest City’s trees, flowers symbolic of the city’s many gardens, and images created by residents during “community build” sessions.
The inside panels of all the benches were created by volunteers who made glass mosaic roses, sunflowers, butterflies, dragonflies, bugs, peaches, hearts and stars. Yellow roses and sunflowers are symbols of the suffragists. Pink roses represent Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and red roses represent Sigma Alpha Iota Professional Music Fraternity.) These images were combined with the clay tiles by other volunteers. The outsides of three benches feature the text of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The outside of one bench, located near the photograph of Astronaut Janice Voss, recognizes Rockford’s aerospace industry. The outsides of the remaining two benches recognize donors to this historic project. Tiles identifying major donors, memorials and special messages form an integral part of the end-caps of this installation.
The end caps and backs of three benches contain tiles honoring donors who contributed to the Plaza. See donor page for a complete list.