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The New Dawn Blooms

Curated Courthouse Project

Akron Summit County Courthouse


The New Dawn Blooms is the crowning piece of the Curated Court House project in the Historic Summit County Courthouse.  In a space where most people are in the building for a purpose that is unhappy, this strong work provides joy and a belief in better things to come.  In a similar way, Bonnie entered this space in some of the darkest days in a generation.  With Covid and civic strife all around us, she was a light that brightened not just our halls but our days.  Working with her was always a joy and the light and beauty of the piece are a reminder of the light and joy she brought to this work. 


Bonnie incorporated Akron Public School art students from three communities in our city into her work.  In doing so, she managed outreach to students at a time when they were struggling to connect back to their community and now gives them something to see when they come back here as adults to get a marriage license, adopt kiddos, or just show off the work that they did to their grandchildren.  She accomplished this work through innovative and enthusiastic recordings shared across the internet since she could not yet enter the classrooms and meet the students.  Our culminating celebration when these students had a chance to see the piece for the first time and have a talkback session with Bonnie was truly awe-inspiring. 


Every day when employees enter the court we look to the shining piece in our halls.  Thousands of people every year will see and be given the opportunity to believe that a new dawn can bloom if only we are brave enough to be it!

Lisa Mansfield, Community Outreach Specialist, Summit County Probate Court


The new dawn blooms as we free it.

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.

If only we’re brave enough to be it.” Amanda Gorman


The focal point of this artwork is the trillium, the official wildflower of Ohio. Offering a sense of place and purpose to this historic courthouse, this bold design is enhanced with Amanda Gorman's words from her 2021 the inauguration poem, “The Hill We Climb.” The burst of sunlight at the top of the design represents the light that hastens the flower’s emergence in spring and the light as a symbol of hope in Amanda Gorman's words. The trillium flower conveys spiritual embodiment, conscientiousness, precision, elegance, grace, and recovery. The six yellow stamens emerge in all directions and the golden swirls weaving throughout the mosaic emphasize the universal miracles of spring and renewal.

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