Sculpture installed in Farr ParkPublished 6:33pm Sunday, September 16, 2012
After months of planning, discussion and a last-minute color change, Dowagiac welcomed it’s newest artistic addition, “Abundant Happiness,” Friday morning in Farr Park, adjacent to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital.
Sculptor Richard Taylor, of Milwaukee, drove the distance from his studio to Dowagiac late last week to install the aluminum sculpture, which was named in reference to the name of the city. The piece is part of Taylor’s “Happiness” series and boasts a warm, subtle yellow color. The Dogwood Fine Arts Festival’s Visual Arts Committee also had members on hand Friday to watch the creation be set in its place on a concrete base, something many had been looking forward to for months. Maryjo Lemanski, director of Water Street Gallery in Douglas, also arrived to watch the installation after spending months working closely to bridge the gap between the committee and Taylor.
“It feels like we’ve come full circle,” Lemanski said Friday morning. “They knew they wanted something abstract that connected with the community, that was contemporary and had color, so I helped them interact with Richard and find the piece that fit.”
The selection was narrowed to three pieces and the committee agreed Taylor’s sculpture offered a new perspective to the city’s collection.
“Richard is a well-established artist known all over the country,” Lemanski said. “When choosing an outdoor art piece, you need an artist who knows what they’re doing.”
Taylor has pieces installed in Chicago, California, Louisiana and other places around the country in private and public collections.
“I’m very happy with the location,” Taylor said of Farr Park. “The sight lines from each angle and the second sculpture’s placement to this one … I really hope that sparks conversation between the two.”
“Dance of Creation” is placed at the far end of Farr Park, with the dancer’s hand languidly pointing toward “Abundant Happiness.” Karen Judd, the Visual Arts Committee Chair, said seeing the sculpture in its setting exceeded expectations.
“This is more than we could have expected,” Judd said. “The color and the placement … and the sunshine adds to the whole thing.”
Taylor contacted the committee during final preparations of the sculpture, stating the color they had originally chosen, an “almost turquoise blue,” was not right and he had to change it.
“He had already had half the sculpture painted, but it wasn’t working,” Judd said.
So the committee decided on a pale yellow, something Taylor said would bring about happiness in those who viewed it.
“(The blue) wasn’t the right color,” Taylor said. “But I like this color … there’s a lightness to it.”
The sculpture will be dedicated at noon Friday in Farr Park. The public is welcome