The Unfillable Chair
A Santa Fe Ten Memorial Remembrance Piece
For those that have experienced the loss of a loved one, there is a void in their lives that is palpable. Whether it is at school, at the dining table, or an important gathering -- it is evident there is an empty space. The Unfillable Chair represents that absence. It is place where no one else can sit. It is a space that no one else can fill.
Five Santa Fe High School students and alumni from the Class of 2018 - 2021 have designed a remembrance piece to be built as a precursor to the larger planned Santa Fe Ten Memorial so that those we lost will be remembered, honored and celebrated by all who were present that tragic day.
The students started the design process with each of their own renderings. They then met with members of the community, the Santa Fe Ten Memorial Foundation, family members, and professionals from National Signs to choose the best elements of each proposal and develop a final meaningful and elegant piece. The Unfillable Chair proposal was approved by the Santa Fe Ten Memorial Foundation on March 4, 2021, then presented by the students to the Santa Fe Independent School District (SFISD) Board of Trustees at a workshop and subsequently approved on March 29, 2021.
The Unfillable Chair will be dedicated by the students at a ceremony on the third anniversary, May 18, 2021, at 3:30 pm at the high school.
Meet The Student Designers
Class of 2018
I think the remembrance piece is a good way for the students at Santa Fe and all of those affected in the community to have the beginnings of a sacred space where those who have fallen can be grieved, remembered, and honored. I also think it serves as a reminder to our community to stand together, to not isolate others and to make the most of the time God gives us here on earth with our family our friends and community. I think the crossed Indian arrows convey this well with the many meanings it can take on... Crossed arrows for the Indians, our mascot, as a symbol of the community and the crossed nature of the arrows showing the inter reliance and strength within Santa Fe. Then, also the “X shape” the arrows make creates the roman numeral for 10. Making this aspect of The [Unfillable] Chair the perfect way to honor and remember the ten we lost on 05/18/18.
Class of 2020
My favorite element of the Unfillable Chair is the crossed arrows because it represents the Roman numeral 10, and seeing the Ten names lit up through the night. The Unfillable Chair makes me think of how my heart won’t be filled by anyone else. That piece of my heart will always feel empty. I will carry love for those we lost on May 18 in my heart for the rest of my life.
Class of 2019
Class of 2021
The Unfillable Chair means to me that no matter what happens, there is a void in our lives, and that can’t be fulfilled and will forever be there. Even though our fellow loved ones have passed, we should recognize that they are not to be replaced, but to be forever known. They are our loved ones, and I never want their names forgotten.
Class of 2021
To me, the Unfillable Chair represents the void that can never be filled. It's the reminder that a loved one is gone, was taken too soon, and can never be gotten back. My favorite element of the chair is the illuminated clear base. I think that it gives the piece almost an ethereal, perhaps angelic, feeling.
Official Press Release by Laura Frnka-Davis, LFD Communications | May 5, 2021 | "Santa Fe Students Design the Unfillable Chair to Honor Fallen Classmates and Teachers"
KHOU 11 | May 5, 2021 | "Classmates design 'The Unfillable Chair' in honor of victims in Santa Fe High School shooting"