Archive for Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Maple leaf statues to adorn downtown

This mockup is the basis of two statues the Kansas Sculptors Association will carve at a workshop early this summer at a workshop in downtown Baldwin City. When completed, the works will be placed on two corners of the intersection of Eighth and High streets.

This mockup is the basis of two statues the Kansas Sculptors Association will carve at a workshop early this summer at a workshop in downtown Baldwin City. When completed, the works will be placed on two corners of the intersection of Eighth and High streets.

May 8, 2013

Before the end of the summer, two maple leaf statues will bracket Baldwin City’s primary downtown intersection.

It was announced at Monday’s Baldwin City Council meeting, members of the Kansas Sculptors Association will carve the two stone sculptures at a downtown workshop in the early summer.

At the request of the Lumberyard Arts Center board, the council last year approved a $10,000 allocation to bring sculptors association members to the city for a workshop. As part of that arrangement, the sculptors agreed to complete a piece of public art for the community.

The arts center board then invited members of the community to submit ideas for a statue that would tell Baldwin City’s story. Among the ideas that received the council’s thumbs up was a maple leaf in a circle.

City Councilman Shane Starkey said that design was shared with sculptors association members, who said the maple leaf was possible but the outside circle would soon break. At their suggestion, a maple leaf carving will be tilted backward with its stem carved so that its shadow would trace across the leaf’s five sections, which would each be adorned with an icon of an historical era. Those would be the area’s prehistory, the Santa Fe Trail, the Battle of Black Jack, the founding of Baker University and the city’s future.

It also was proposed that each leaf section would have an electronic device that could communicate the story of each icon to smart phones, Starkey said.

That work, which will be about 4 feet wide and 6 feet tall, will be placed on the southwest corner of High and Eighth streets. Complimenting it will be a smaller work on the northeast corner of the intersection.

Starkey said the smaller work would be circle with a maple leaf chiseled out of its center.

Lumberyard Arts Center President Tony Brown said the workshop would be in the empty lot between the Post Office and Lumberyard Arts Center, sometime after the Baldwin City Community Theater’s outdoor musical finishes its run at that site in June.

City Administrator Chris Lowe said the sculptors would share their skills with residents at the workshop as they worked to complete the community pieces. Aspiring sculptors would be invited to work with stones available at the workshop, he said.

But Brown said residents wouldn’t have to take up hammer and chisel to enjoy the workshop.

“I’m looking forward to it because I want to see the artists turn that stone into a piece of art,” he said.

Comments

Justask 1 year, 2 months ago

Does anyone else see a marijuana leaf when they look at that model? Because we're paying an awful lot of money to celebrate hemp if you do.

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Stacy Napier 1 year, 2 months ago

I see a lot of wasted money. How many sidewalk or street repairs could be bought with $10,000? Putting all this fancy window decorations up won't bring anyone to live here when the rest of the house needs remodeled.

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City_Admin1 1 year, 2 months ago

Actually, $10,000 would do very little in terms of sidewalk or street repairs. Sidewalk alone runs about $3.50 per foot. Now, if you include curb and gutter along with sidewalk and street repairs, $10,000 would not even be enough money to do a block anywhere in town. However, I think street and sidewalk repair are important priorities and the previous City Council increased the budget for these types of projects which will occur before the end of the fiscal year. The City has also developed a street inventory to guide its investment in replacing and repairing streets throughout town and those investments will be included in future budgets to attempt to protect the infrastructure in a systematic fashion. Please contact Public Works if you have areas where you believe work would be beneficial.

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1776attorney 1 year, 2 months ago

I am very happy to hear this, City_Admin1. This is something I have mentioned many times based on conversations with other taxpayers.

Once your city center degrades, you're whole city looks bad. Appearance is everything.

I hope the city takes the time to think the design and quality issues out on new sidewalks, streets, curbs, gutters, lighting, alleys and water run-off, etc. Just slapping in quick, cheap concrete is not an investment, but a band-aid.

The city center deserves a design scheme matching the 30's, 40's or 50's era. Especially new, reproduction street lighting.

The quality of concrete used on the downtown renovation was of a lesser quality and the cracks and deterioration a few years later is showing.

Spend a little city funding on a good design team.

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