Michael Kalish Designed Number Plates

The DRIVE4COPD national public health initiative today announced its partnership with renowned American artist and sculptor Michael Kalish. Kalish will create a large-scale monument called 24M: The DRIVE4COPD Monument, inspired by the DRIVE4COPD campaign pinwheel icon. Kalish will use his signature medium, the license plate, to create 24 large-scale pinwheels representing the 24 million Americans who may be living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The sheer size and scale of 24M will represent all corners of the country and embody the breadth of the disease and its impact on America. The top of each pinwheel base will be in the shape of states so from an aerial view the monument can come together and form the contiguous United States. The monument will also consist of 2400 license plates, and the number of license plates used from each state will reflect that state’s percentage of the U.S. population affected by COPD. 24M is expected to be the size of half of a football field and will be unveiled in New York City in mid-2011 before travelling to Texas, Florida and California. These four states have the highest prevalence of COPD.

“I travel the country collecting materials for my work and many of the people I see on a daily basis are affected by COPD or are at risk for the disease,” says Kalish, who uses discarded everyday items such as car tires, boxing speed bags and recycled license plates to create his unique and highly sought-after works of art. “COPD affects people from all walks of life and this is my opportunity to give them a voice.”

Kalish’s work has been showcased in galleries and included in private collections around the world. DRIVE4COPD and Kalish will host unveiling events in each selected city, highlighting state-wide COPD statistics to help raise awareness of the condition and stress the importance of early detection.