Hamilton to ‘Embrace’ its ‘City of Sculpture’ moniker with new stainless steel piece

Hamilton’s non-profit City of Sculpture organization is privately raising money to install a striking modern sculpture to install at the intersection of Main Street with Millville and Eaton avenues, which now is being reconfigured for safety and efficient traffic flow.

Hunter Brown, of Little Rock, Ark., will create the 25-foot-tall brushed stainless steel sculpture of two twisting, spiraling forms that seem to embrace each other.

“I wanted to make something that would be some forms that were simple, but interact with one another to kind-of make a stronger overall piece together,” Brown said of the piece titled Embrace. “They may not be real interesting as one, but together, they make something special. I think that’s iconographic for the community, maybe, these forms working together for a greater cause or a greater good.”

The sculpture is designed to be visually appealing from all angles, something Brown said would be helpful at the intersection that many people drive and walk past each day. He said he was told to make “something big” and “modern” that would have a “lot of impact.”

“I like to call it ‘activating the space,’ where you’re getting the most strong viewing angles that you can with a piece, where it’s interesting from every angle, every perspective, where you’re driving up to it from several hundred feet away, or you’re standing underneath it,” Brown said. “The piece is always kind of changing, depending on your perspective.”

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Taylor Welch, vice president at City of Sculpture, said about 10 artists submitted proposals. Members of the organization said, “It was just very clear he was the one we wanted to go with” when they saw Brown’s three proposals, he said.

City of Sculpture hopes it can raise money soon enough the work can be installed by 2020, the 20th anniversary of when then-Gov. Bob Taft formally declared Hamilton as “The City of Sculpture.”

The sculpture “will be one of the bigger ones that we have,” Welch said. “This is a pretty bold one, so it’s kind of exciting.”

Also, Hamilton’s West Side doesn’t have many sculptures, he said. Plus, the intersection reconfiguration will create green space the sculpture will occupy.

Organizers would like the sculpture within a landscaping bed of some kind “where it looks like the piece is kind-of growing out of the ground,” Brown said.

He estimated the work would take him and a crew of three assistants six to eight months to complete. At his Little Rock studio, the artists will create a skeleton of steel to frame the form, with the stainless steel sheets placed on it as a skin. It will weigh 8,000-10,000 pounds.

Those wishing to contribute to the project can contact Welch at 513-275-1740 or taylor@cdalliance.net.

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