Mayor Don Lyons formally accepts the sculpture "Abundant Happiness" Friday during a dedication ceremony. Leader photo/ALY GIBSON

Archived Story

Donor satisfaction

Published 6:07pm Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dowagiac’s newest sculpture, “Abundant Happines,” was formally dedicated and accepted by the City of Dowagiac in Farr Park Friday afternoon.

Several people gathered for the ceremony, including members of the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival’s Visual Arts Committee, who were instrumental in the selection of the sculpture and its placement. During the process of viewing pieces from several sculptors around the Midwest, the committee settled on Milwaukee-based sculptor Richard Taylor. MaryJo Lemanski, owner and director of Water Street Gallery in Douglas, connected the committee with Taylor and almost a year later, the sculpture was installed in Farr Park Sept. 14. The ceremony also welcomed Helen Marhanka, the donor of the sculpture, and many of her family and friends. After comments from Lemanksi and Taylor, Michael McLoughlin formally presented “Abundant Happiness” to the city.

“I think it’s wonderful what the city has done,” Marhanka said Friday. “I’m going to enjoy it, and I like the it (the sculpture).”

Taylor said he was excited the day had finally come when the piece would formally be inducted into the city’s burgeoning collection.

“Dowagiac is really blessed with a wonderful collection of sculptures,” Taylor said. “I’m privileged to be a part of it.”

Taylor also said he hoped that, though the sculpture may not be liked by everyone, hopefully, the piece will provide a sense of uplifting.

“I hope that there can be a collective happiness,” Taylor said.

Marhanka also commented she hopes future generations will see the beauty of the sculpture.

“You have to get children used to abstract art,” Marhanka said. “It’s important, and I hope that they talk about it and enjoy it.”

“Abundant Happiness” was brandished with a plaque that read the sculpture was a gift from the Earl G. Marhanka family. Mayor Don Lyons said, during the acceptance, that Earl had expressed a desire for art to be placed in Farr Park and that the day had finally come.

Marhanka said she was happy to see others enjoying the sculpture, too.

“We got a great collection,” Marhanka said. “I’m thrilled to add a little bit more to it.”

“Abundant Happiness” is the 15th sculpture placed in Dowagiac.

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