About the Artist

Maria Sciuto Fontaine has been a Visual Arts teacher in the Haverhill Public Schools for many years, as well a mixed media artist and jewelry designer. She has exhibited her work in juried shows and galleries, including a solo show at the Pentucket Arts Center, shows at Salem Arts Center in conjunction with exhibitions at the Peabody Essex Museum and the 30 Rooms Exhibit in NYC.  Maria and her sister, Elissa Dawson, painted two of the shoes in the first Shoe Project including the Queen Slipper City Shoe in front of City Hall. 

Artist's Statement

Clambering Upward 2016
Glass, Aluminum, Steel and Stone - Maria Sciuto Fontaine Artist

Glass, Metal, Stone... Fused, Forged, Fired... are the primary elements in the Memorial Sculpture “Clambering Upward” in honor of the 411 First Responders who lost their lives on that tragic day September 11, 2001.

The panels of brilliant glass are etched with the names and ages of the 411 First Responders: brave men and women who rushed into the World Trade Center Buildings 1 and 2, without any hesitation or concern for their own safety, in hopes of rescuing occupants trapped or desperately trying to escape.

The 9 stairs that lead up to the glass inscribed with the names, are con- structed of metal, steel and aluminum diamond plate. These stairs are the key element representing both an escape to safety and life for those that rushed down them, and a climb up them to the end of their lives for those First Responders, when the buildings unexpectedly and tragically collapsed. The insignias and slogans of the 3 branches, Fire, Police and EMS, are mounted on the stairs.

On the sides of the stairs are aluminum structures; pieces that are evocative of the structural beams that were part of the facade and architecture to the World Trade Towers and emerged from the rubble and remained standing.

The metaphorical Infinity Stairs atop the glass panels are the final element in the piece. Cast in aluminum... there are 11 stairs that lead to wherever your belief system regards to be true... the continuum that lies beyond this earthly life; a life that ended far too soon for so many brave souls on that catastrophic day.

Around the memorial is a brick walkway where families, individuals and businesses from the community offer personal sentiments and remembrances.

This work of public, remembrance art is to honor and commemorate these 411 souls in a quiet, contemplative and reverential way with the elements of glass, metal and stone. To glint in the sun and be illuminated under the night sky as we pause and are reminded to “NEVER FORGET”.