Saturday, an estimated 50,000 people marched from the Texas Capitol through downtown Austin in support of equality both in the U.S. and abroad. Right along their path was the Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center, which featured a striking and strikingly relevant installation by artist Jim Hodges.
The work, With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress), was completed in 2014 and installed on the roof of the Jones Center on December 17, 2016. The text-based installation spells “WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL” in seven-foot tall letters perched atop the museum’s parapet. Iridescent by day and illuminated by night, it is impossible to miss the message from street level.
Describing the work, the Contemporary says, “Seen as a continuation of Hodges’s dedication to the existentials — love, nature, childhood, religion, sexuality, and mortality — it would be hard to imagine a work more poignantly resonant here, and for our times.”
On Saturday, the installation took on even more significance, keeping watch over what may have been the largest protest in American history (an estimated 3.2 million marched nationally). As marchers filed past, many paused to take pictures of the work, acknowledging its relevance to the values they were there to support.