CODAWorx x Architects Foundation Present: I Was Here

June 30, 2021 @ 5:00PM — 6:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Hear from the CODAworx 2020 Awardee

CODAWorx x Architects Foundation Present: I Was Here image

There are currently no tickets available for this event, but you can still make a donation.


I Was Here

Recognized as a 2020 CODAaward winner, the mission of "I Was Here” is to reshape the American Commemorative Landscape. A set of portraits featuring contemporary African American individuals transformed into representative ancestors creates a visual for an invisible history. They are of all ages and genders just like those once sold. They are translucent, allowing viewers to literally see through them and for light to shine through them. Embedded into the images are longitude and latitude coordinates from around the world asking viewers to consider the broader connections of the wound that enslavement created in the foundation of America. They stand in the windows of shops, bars, the courthouse, professional offices, and studio spaces. Like enslaved people, they are both conspicuous and ordinary. Like slavery once was, the figures are everywhere. Each piece, like all good public history, pushes viewers to consider the past, present, and future all at once.

Based on archival records, the enslavement of Africans touched almost every corner of the United States. Synthesizing a wealth of humanities and historical scholarship, the project seeks to ignite and activate a shared citizenship. We believe that the spirit of the past can be redeemed and our future, as humanity, more richly nurtured.

Tickets to the panel are free; $15 tickets will permit additional entry into a giveaway for various prizes.

This panel is available for AIA Continuing Ed (1 LU); please provide AIA Member # upon signup.

Hear from our panelists:

Marshall Fields, Community Liaison I Was Here

Marshall has spent the last 20 years working in Learning and Development. His background includes instructional design, communication brokerage, work as a magazine columnist, host of PCHATP podcast, and community liaison for an award winning spirit project I Was Here. He is a graduate of Spencerian College with a degree in Electronic Engineering, holds certifications from ASTD (Blended Learning), Langevin (Curriculum Design), and Professional Life Coaching Certification from Transformational Academy. Believing that communication is the #1 vehicle to end systemic racism, his mantra is “We can change your world by changing how you talk to it.” It is this belief that drives all of his engagements including the development of a self-paced online anti-racism course.

Marjorie Guyon, Artist I Was Here

Layers of history and time are a constant in the work of Marjorie Guyon. One of the hallmarks of Guyon’s work is that the image at once emerges from yet disappears into what appears to be an ancient surface. Yet, she also seems to be lighting the path of time. It may well be the dynamic between the two impulses that gives her haunting images their appeal. To build her compositions, she works in collage and applies marble dust and pigment - earth from all over the world to create an archeology of the soul. Her work is at once contemporary and ancient - a blend of mythology and graffiti.

Guyon’s work has been widely exhibited appearing in public and private collections across the United States.

Dr. Michael Preacely, Soundscape

American baritone Michael Preacely is a rising star on the operatic stage and is also known for a versatile singing ability and style that allow him to cross between genres from classical repertoire to pop, contemporary, and Broadway. He has received critical acclaim for many of his performances in the opera house and on the concert stage. Michael has performed with some of the leading opera houses and orchestras in the United States and abroad including Cincinnati Opera, Opera Company Philadelphia, Opera Memphis, Kentucky Opera, Cleveland Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, and Bohème Opera of New Jersey, Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Pops, and the Cincinnati Pops.

Dr. Preacely is currently working on the release of his first album, Spirituals and Hymns: Songs from the heart. Michael resides in Lexington, KY with his wife LeTicia and three sons, Joshua, Benjamin and Jayce Bryson.

Daniel Ware, President KY AIA

Daniel Ware, AIA is an architect practicing in Lexington, KY with EOP Architects. With over 22 years in the building industry, his experience involves varied typologies including healthcare, academic, multi-family residential, residential, retail, fitness/recreation and workplace. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Design, Daniel serves as the current President of AIA Kentucky and is current treasurer for the Kentucky Society of Architect Political Action Committee.

Michael Baer, Augmented Reality

Michael Baer graduated from the University of Louisville in May of 2001 with a Bachelor in Finance. After spending years in the financial and technology industries, his passion for Fusioncorp got the best of him. As the President, CEO and Co-Owner he believes Fusioncorp can provide the best customer experience in the areas of Creative Design, Web, Application Development and Branding. Recently, Michael has been focused on growing their latest spin-out Gamifi, LLC & pivt, LLC which is a software platform designed on creating immersive experiences utilizing Augmented Reality and other technology integrations. With a strong focus on contributing to the ongoing development of our education system and curriculum, Michael is the Chair of the Board for the IT Career Path for the Academies of Lexington. Michael is also focused on the evolution of our technology sector in our local community sitting on the board of the The City of Lexington Revenue Commission, Commerce Lexington, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, The Technology Association of the Bluegrass, The Legacy Equine Academy and The Muhammad Ali Center.


Created in 2016 and launched in 2018, I Was Here has been chosen for local, national, and international awards from institutions including the American Association of State and Local Histories, the Blue Grass Trust, NEA Award and CodaAwards. In June 2021, The Architects Foundation will highlight the project as part of the 2020 CODAawards virtual exhibition at The Octagon.

The project team includes Patrick Mitchell: photographer, Marshall Fields: Community Liaison, Barry Darnell Burton: installations/writer, Marjorie Guyon: artist, Johnny Hernandez: media and website, Syndy Deese: administrative volunteer, Michael Baer: augmented reality, Dr. Michael Preacely: soundtrack as well as historians across the country.

Based on archival records, the enslavement of Africans touched almost every corner of the United States. I Was Here synthesizes a wealth of humanities and historical scholarship into a set of iconic Ancestor Spirit Portraits bringing a visual to an invisible history. The end game is to ignite an equal, shared citizenship. The presentation offers strategies on how to utilize the I Was Here project to reshape the American Commemorative Landscape simultaneously creating memorials and a visual of the seminal role enslaved African played in the foundation of American wealth and power.