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Diamonds in the Sky Memorializes U.S. Military Casualties in Iraq on Veterans' Day, Thursday, November 11



Matt Itelson
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1743
(415) 338-1665



Ariane Bicho, Publicist
SFSU College of Creative Arts
(415) 338-1442
(415) 338-0520 fax

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


Wall of Magnetized Stars on Display at Civic Center; Encourages Public Participation

SAN FRANCISCO, November 8, 2004 -- Artist Karrie Hovey is likely alive today because in the 1960s her father was stationed in Korea, not Vietnam. Most of his Army training unit went to Southeast Asia and returned in caskets, or never returned. In part, this explains why the 33-year-old Hovey, an MFA candidate at San Francisco State University, created the public installation Diamonds in the Sky, a 24-foot-by-6-foot long corrugated tin wall of 1,262 magnetized porcelain stars, one representing each Coalition casualty suffered in Iraq, from March 2003 to October 31, 2004. The three-inch stars, each painted with the name, age and date of death of individual soldiers, will be unveiled in San Francisco on Veterans' Day, Thursday, November 11, at San Francisco Civic Center.

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"Each star represents a person who has touched and impacted the lives of many others," says Hovey. "I want the stars to remind people that the individual person for whom the star was made has left loved ones behind."

On Veterans' Day, Hovey will encourage passersby to remove magnetized stars from the memorial display and to relocate them to other public locations, such as honor boxes, metal signs, fences and doors in the Greater Bay Area and beyond. The stars can then be tracked at; people will be encouraged to e-mail photos of the stars in their new location and to offer their thoughts about the war and the project.

Hovey, the granddaughter of a Battle of the Bulge veteran, says her installation "is absolutely not intended as a protest of the individuals who are fighting and have fought for our country. But I do hope that it serves as a reminder of the tragedy that is taking place in Iraq daily."

The final stage of the project will be determined by the adventures the stars take. Hovey, a former high school valedictorian and an alumnus of New York's School of Visual Arts, intends to create another project based on the data collected from the public's reaction to the star memorial. And she'll continue the memorial until the war in Iraq has ended.

"As Americans our day-to-day lives haven't changed much since the beginning of the war -- other than our gas prices have gone up," says Hovey. "We need to be conscious about what's happening in our name. I see this as a way for those that the stars represent to continue to have an impact on other people's lives, and although the finder of the star may not have known the person whose name is on it, I hope it makes them acknowledge and contemplate the impact of each individual's death."


NOTE: Karrie Hovey plans to install Diamonds in the Sky on one of the grassy knolls on the north-side of the Civic Center behind City Hall. The display will be completely installed by 2 p.m. Hovey can be reached directly on her cell phone at (415) 606-7635.

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Last modified April 20, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications