Sculpture Is Dedicated to Honor Lakeland’s Lois Cowles Harrison

Sculpture Is Dedicated to Honor Lakeland’s Lois Cowles Harrison

By Matt Reinstetle


Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:19 p.m.

Last Modified: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 9:19 p.m.

LAKELAND | The name Lois Cowles Harrison means many things to different people.

“Lois,” a sculpture by Clayton Swartz, honors the legacy of the late Lois Cowles Harrison. A dedication ceremony was held Thursday.


Harrison was a philanthropist, a women’s rights activist and a civic leader, but her contributions to the arts were among her greatest gifts to Lakeland and Polk County.

A sculpture built to honor Harrison’s legacy to the arts was dedicated Thursday during a ceremony in front of the Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Lakeland.

“Lois was active in many community endeavors. Her efforts to celebrate art and art education is synonymous with her name,” said Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs during his dedication speech.

Harrison died in June at the age of 78.

Along with the sculpture dedication, Wiggs declared Thursday Lois Cowles Harrison Day.

The sculpture, titled “Lois,” was created by Clayton Swartz of Pinellas Park. It features three curved columns of different heights connected by three rings.

“The three pillars represent Lois’ commitment to her family, her community and to young people,” Harrison Principal Daryl Ward said during the closing of the cere­mony.

“The upward reaching arch of the sculpture reminds us how Lois was never satisfied with the status quo and was always striving for a better world. The inside ring represents Lois herself, always colorful, high-spirited, her arms reaching out to embrace the pillars in her life.

“And finally the outside rings — red, yellow — symbolize how Lois’ passion for justice and art connected all pillars of her life.”

Among those in attendance at the dedication were Lakeland city officials, members of the Polk County School Board and members of Harrison’s family, including her husband, Homer Hooks, daughter, Lois Eleanor Harrison, and grand­children.

Speakers included Wiggs, former Harrison Principal Craig Collins, Lois Eleanor Harrison and musical theater student Morgan Kendrick.

The ceremony concluded with a performance of “Invictus” by the Harrison Chamber Choir under the direction of Kris Ridgley.

“It was great,” Lois Eleanor Harrison said about the dedication. “My mom would have loved it. I’m sure she was up there orchestrating the whole thing — she’s still in charge.”

[ Matt Reinstetle can be reached at or 863-802-7533. ]

Swartz Art

5609 Park Blvd,

Pinellas Park, FL 33781

Phone. 727-421-0553