When “The Gift” sculpture is unveiled on April 28 in the courthouse square, it will be at night. Special lighting will illuminate three bronze figures, which are the centerpieces of the Jack Kilby Memorial Plaza.
The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. and the unveiling is expected to happen around 9 p.m., according to local attorney Glenn Opie, who chairs the Committee to Honor Jack Kilby, inventor of the integrated circuit. Kilby, a graduate of Great Bend High School, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000.
“We wanted to have this event at night as a way to showcase the Kilby sculpture under special lighting designed by lighting architect Gary Gordon,” Opie said. “That amazing image needs to be the community’s first look at a monument that will prominently display Great Bend’s connection to Jack Kilby 100 years from now.”
Gordon has created illuminated ambience for such places as the National Museum of American History, The White House Collection, Yale University School of Art and Galleries, and the Lucille Ball Museum. His lighting will now enhance the night view of “The Gift” bronzes, sculpted by local artist Chet Cale.
Opie hopes to make the unveiling an all-evening affair that is free to the public. Main Street from Broadway to Lakin will be blocked off from traffic, beginning at 5:30 p.m. At that time, Parr Sound and Lighting will begin playing big-band music in the park and concessions will be available.
Along with Gov. Sam Brownback, those planning to take part in the celebration include Washington Post Bureau Chief T.R. Reid, author of “The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution”; Ed Millis, an engineering coworker of Kilby who authored a book about his friend; members of the Kilby family and representatives from Texas Instruments. The Kilby Memorial Plaza design team of Cale, Gordon and representatives from PBA Architects plan on attending.
Opening music will be performed by the Great Bend High School Band and the GBHS A Cappella Choir. Renowned tenor opera and soloist singer Trent Green, originally from Ellinwood, will perform three songs during the ceremony.
Commemorating Kilby’s military service, military vehicles will be on site for public viewing, and a flyover is scheduled. The Barton County Arts Center, across the street from the Plaza, will have a Kilby exhibit available to the public, prior to the ceremony.
More information about the Jack Kilby Memorial Plaza can be accessed at jackkilby.org.