Both sculptures were purchased by the nonprofit organization City of Sculpture, whose major fundraiser for such purchases is the IceFest event that happens every other year.
The first sculpture, a very large flower called A Forest Treasure, was created by Michigan artist Douglas Gruizenga.
Taylor Welch, sponsor chairman for IceFest, said City of Sculpture “specifically looked for abstract or modern styles, bright colors, new materials and new concepts.
“We had also made the decision to place the new sculptures in Rotary Park to increase the density of sculptures around downtown and encourage more sculpture walks in town.”
Hamilton has been making a name for itself as a city of arts with the sculptures around the city and in the Pyramid Hill sculpture park, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts and the dynamic murals being painted on Hamilton buildings by the StreetSpark program.
“The flower is very appealing,” said Rick H. Jones, an owner of Renaissance Fine Art Supplies next to Rotary Park. “That has a really nice form. It’s going to look great in the park. The surface treatment is going to reflect the light nicely, maybe even bring in some different colors, depending on the light.
“It’s a very strong form.”
Welch said A Forest Treasure “was an easy decision to purchase.”
“It is a lovely sculpture that is appealing to a broad audience,” he said. “We received a ton a positive feedback when we first posted photos online. Douglas makes a variety of pieces with different concepts, mostly industrial shapes like gears and wheels or natural things like flowers, but the COS board was instantly attracted to this giant flower.”
The other sculpture, called Bird House, was created by Andrew Arvenetes.
Welch said Bird House was chosen because “the concept and color worked really well with the Taking Flight mural at Rotary Park.”
“The red really pops with the blue background of the mural,” said Welch, who designed the Taking Flight mural. “Andrew had many great pieces to choose from, but Bird House was our favorite.
Jones called the Bird House “a striking image” with an “interesting use of angles, anchored by the very heavy circular forms at the bottom.”
“It’s another nice piece,” he said. “I think it’ll fit well in the park, and certainly relates to the park in terms of the imagery. I like the bright red color. That should pop on the grass, and it’ll add a nice punch of color in the winter, this time of year, too.
“I think those look good. I think the park lacks some sculpture, and this will be a great way to start over there.”