Art Shows During a Pandemic
Installing Quarks VII at Danville, Virginia “Art Trail”
Covid-19 has significantly changed the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition landscape. Shows cancelled, postponed and/or done online. We’re pleased to have been able to install Quarks VII in Danville, Virginia’s “Art Trail”. Especially in light of the fact that this piece won Best of Show for a spring show at Seton Hill University, which was cancelled due to the pandemic.
“Art Trail” is organized by Danville’s Park District – their exhibition is in a wonderful downtown park which runs along the river, and is part of an amazing downtown revitalization effort.
We installed it on a humid rainy morning by the Pavilion. Our thanks to all of the Park District folks trying to get the last show taken down and the new one put up!
Installing Trio at Element at Veridian in Schaumburg, Illinois
We’re celebrating the installation of the Public Art piece Trio – commissioned by Urban Street Group for their Element apartment complex in the huge new Veridian development inSchaumburg, IL. Many thanks to Bob Burk, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of USG, Director of Construction Jim Wells and Sharon Dickson, Dickson Design Studio.
Artist Statement: I designed Trio as a three-piece construction of painted aluminum that is 13’ at its highest point. (I love Fibonacci numbers.) Trio is monolithic, open, and colorful – a counterpoint to the subtle colors, clean lines and graceful geometry of Element. The sculpture’s large segments give it presence, and the positive and negative space of the design (a career long theme of mine) give it an open feel, allowing it to become part of its surroundings. Trio is different as the viewer moves around it, celebrating Energy and Harmony – aspects and themes of my entire body of work.
Trio’s vibrant and natural colors – red, yellow, and gray – create environmental and visual dynamics with Element’s earth tone and black construction materials. The sculpture and the building complement each other and their site environment.
We had the opportunity to take a site tour with Bob Burk, who cast the deciding vote for Trio. So interesting to hear about this huge project and so cool that he chose Trio as a perfect counterpart to the clean, linear design of Element – with the sculpture’s shapes moving and striving away from their base.
Celebrating our 2019 Public Art Anniversaries and Installations
1970 was the winner of W & J’s 1970 Commemorative Public Art Competition. The college called for a “work of art commissioned to celebrate the myriad changes that occurred during the 1970 academic year.”
The committee that awarded the commission to Guy was particularly interested in the fact that the sculpture was both colorful and kinetic, which they felt was a perfect representation of that time. The “tag line” on the dedication plaque (image below) reads Motion is Change, Change is Motion.
W & J celebrates 1970 and the story that it tells about the college by including it in their campus tour.
The Kane County Veterans Memorial is a beautifully conceived and executed piece of public art – achieving all of the goals of the Veterans Assistance Commission and county government.
While it is becoming common for figurative sculptures to be people sized and at eye level, Citizen Soldier is sited on a base that is 10’ tall, and the piece itself reaches an overall height of more than 16’, to achieve the objectives of giving the memorial scale and impact, and making it more visible from Illinois State Route 31 that runs next to the County Government campus and the front lawn where the Memorial is sited.
As a veteran himself, this is public art that Guy is particularly proud to have designed, created and fabricated – which shows in the finished piece.
Students from Rotolo Middle School in Batavia, Illinois created a website for the sculpture and the American Legion has a web page devoted to it. More information and images about the project are available on those sites.
Celebrating our 2018 Public Art Anniversaries and Installations
Successful public art projects are balancing acts – weighing the intrinsic value of visual art, the economic value, and the “purpose” of the piece or installation. We think that the most successful projects rely upon and reveal the artist’s enjoyment and enthusiasm, and their care and concern for all of the stakeholders.
We’re celebrating some of Guy’s public art: figurative sculptures – Ēkwabet and William Dennison Cary, and abstract pieces – Fibonacci in Moto and The Key, all of which are wonderfully successful public art projects.
Ēkwabet began as a service project of the St. Charles Rotary Club that spawned a larger riverfront revitalization project, connecting downtown with Pottawatomie Park. It took over two years from start to dedication, including researching Native Americans to ensure that cultural reality guided the design of the artwork, multiple feedback cycles, and fundraising, with input from the Potawatomi Tribe, schools, community, and local government. This is public art that Guy is very proud to have created and loved doing – which shows in the finished piece.
He is even prouder that the Potawatomi Nation embraced the piece, returning in 1989 to conduct a naming ceremony. Billy Daniels of the Forest County Potawatomi was chosen to create a name to protect and honor the sculpture. Ēkwabet, which means “Watching Over”, is not a literal translation from the Potawatomi language – the sculpture is the only thing in the world with that name. Guy was honored to have one of the bronze editions purchased by the Forest County Potawatomi for their Cultural Center.
Visit Ēkwabet.com to see more images of the sculpture, project coverage from development to dedication, the city-wide 20th Anniversary Celebration, and the fabulous artwork from Native American artists featured in the Ēkwabet Pop-Up Gallery.
Ēkwabet is included in the Art Inventories Catalog of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Ēkwabet is also included in the St Charles, IL Art in Public Places project, and is a featured piece on the Art Tour. Get the Otocast app, find St. Charles, Illinois, tap on the picture of Ēkwabet and then the Play arrow and listen to Guy talk about the project.
When the project began in 1986 Guy agreed to waive his Artist’s Fee, and was instead compensated for his work by selling a Limited Edition of the maquette used to create the monument. That sculpture is available on a marble base (pictured), or on a replica base with the beautiful “Listen, for I speak but once…” plaque. It is priced for the anniversary at $3800. To order this piece, or for further information please call 630.584.4650, or e-mail info@BellaverStudios.com
William Dennison Cary
When the public art is representational AND of a real person Guy’s approach is a combination of free form skill and serious math and engineering – which represented quite a challenge for the bust of William Cary (the founder of Cary, IL). The Cary-Grove Historical Society had only one photo – a daguerreotype – and in that image, Mr. Cary is looking down AND his head is turned – perspective and symmetry challenges. One cheek looks full, the other hollow. The upper lip, which looked like a mustache in the daguerreotype, looked odd in clay.
When Guy creates a sculpture of a real person he strives to make that piece as accurate a representation as possible of what they look like and who they are or were, within the context of the available information and the medium. And, as with all of his art, he strives for a sense of movement or energy in the piece.
Fibonacci in Moto
Fibonacci in Moto (translation from the Italian – Fibonacci in Motion) is a multi-hexagon-shaped sculpture, comprised of polished stainless steel rectangular tubing, inlaid with colored glass pieces. The glass pieces are designed, when the sculpture is still, to represent fibonacci spirals.
The sculpture is about light and motion, kinetic and potential energy, and the energy of color. The colors of the glass pieces represent elements present at St. Vincent College, who commissioned the piece. The blue represents the basic color of their logo, the leaf green represents the science center’s focus on the environment, and the vermilion speaks to the interior and exterior “building blocks” of brick, warm woods, and design elements. Each stainless steel tube represents the physics of potential and kinetic energy – energy possessed due to motion. Fibonacci in Moto is the first in a series of kinetic sculptures.
Thanks to glass artists Don and Ellen Ljung of Donellen Designs for their lovely bright glass inserts.
See the July, 2018 News Feature immediately below for the story of this sculpture and its dedication. Thanks to glass artist Amy Simpson for her beautiful layered, iridescent glass inserts.
Guy J. Bellaver Public Art Sculpture “The Key” Dedicated
We’re celebrating the installation and dedication of the commemorative sculpture entitled The Key. It is sited along the West bank of the Fox Riverwalk, immediately south of Indiana Street, in St. Charles, Illinois. The sculpture was commissioned by The Gratitude Project – Public Art From the Community To the Community…in Gratitude, in cooperation with the St Charles Arts Council. It is in Gratitude to Sharon and Vern Oie.
Dr. C. Alfred Patten, project organizer, welcomed nearly 100 guests to the dedication. During his speech Patten gave the gift of the sculpture to Mayor Ray Rogina, along with the obligatory bottle of Tide – which Patten called the “soap of choice for these things”. Also speaking were sculptor Guy J. Bellaver, former City Administrator Larry Maholland (acknowledging Vern Oie’s Contribution), former City Mayor Sue Klinkhamer (acknowledging Sharon Oie’s Contribution), Mayor Ray Rogina (accepting the gift), both Vern and Sharon Oie and Elizabeth Bellaver of the St Charles Arts Council, who encouraged participants to download the Otocast App (part of the SCAC’s Art in Public Places project) and played a portion of The Key’s story of the Oies’ vision for the city, as told by Sharon Oie. A short video of the giving of the gift is on the Gratitude Project website. .Download the Otocast App, Tap on St. Charles, IL/Art in Public Places, Tap on the image of The Key and hit the Play button.
The Oies expressed their love of St. Charles and their pleasure at having one of Bellaver’s sculptures created in their honor and gracing their beloved downtown and Riverwalk. They have pronounced the sculpture “beautiful”. The complete Artist Statement is reproduced in this release, and can also be found on the Gratitude Project web site.
reflections Sculpture Dedicated at Volunteer Plaza
The commemorative sculpture entitled reflections has been installed and dedicated in the newly created Volunteer Plaza, along the Riverwalk in St. Charles, Illinois. The sculpture was commissioned by a community group to honor volunteerism, as exemplified by Max and Doris Hunt.
[Images of the sculpture and information about the project may be seen on the project web site.]
Dr. C. Alfred Patten, Project Creator and Manager explained the reflections public art project. “This project began as a way to honor Max and Doris Hunt – longtime residents and tireless supporters and contributors to our community. We chose to bestow that honor with public art – a sculpture designed by Guy Bellaver to meet the Hunt family’s vision of a piece that wasn’t a statue of their parents, but rather a work of art that captured their spirit. Over time our committee realized that Max and Doris were, in essence, exemplars of volunteerism – the engine that drives the best of communities. And the result of many discussions about this commemorative idea with the River Corridor Foundation, the Arts Council, and the City, is Volunteer Plaza.”
Bellaver explains the sculpture’s design and name, “I first met Max and Doris Hunt when we moved to St. Charles in 1985. Max was the co-chair of the Ēkwabet project, and he and Doris were involved in so many things, and they always encouraged those around them to contribute and participate – to see themselves with the community as their backdrop. For this memorial, I decided that I wanted to create another piece in my Quarks Series – sculptures that are all about energy. But I wanted this work to be made from highly polished stainless steel to allow community members to look at the sculpture and see themselves reflected within the city.”
reflections is the 17th sculpture in Bellaver’s Quarks series, which translates the physics of high energy collisions into art. The sculpture is made of polished stainless steel, standing 12′ tall. reflections is an interpretation of energy, which comes from volunteers who energize their community – people like Max and Doris Hunt, whom the sculpture honors. The highly polished and reflective stainless steel sculpture speaks to the Hunt’s character as people who always encouraged those around them to contribute and participate – to see themselves with the community as their backdrop.
Dr. C. Alfred Patten, project organizer, welcomed nearly 200 guests to the dedication by telling them how he felt upon seeing the sculpture being installed. “On Tuesday, August 4th, I stopped at this location on my way to the train station. The boom of a powerful crane towered high above, and an excited artist gave me a fist bump. Everything centered around a metal crate containing highly polished stainless steel. I returned to the location about 3:00 p.m. As I approached the art piece, a chill went up and down my spine. I was impressed by its beauty and how it projected the feeling of energy. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that a five year journey was over… but a journey I would gladly take again in a heartbeat.”
Patten officially gifted reflections to the city with the words, “Now comes the time that I’ve been waiting for for five years. I get to turn this over to the City of St. Charles via it’s Mayor, Ray Rogina.” Mayor Rogina first accepted the committee’s gift of the sculpture, as well as Dr. Patten’s gift of liquid Tide and sponges as a donation to the city’s maintenance program for reflections. Rogina commented that “volunteerism, education, and Max and Doris Hunt go hand in hand”.
Doris Hunt then spoke about the sculpture and how much it means to her and her family. Between the wind, a temperamental microphone and a soft voice, it was difficult to hear all of her heartfelt thank yous. But she concluded her remarks with a very moving and elegant gesture – reaching out her hand and asking everyone in attendance to do the same – asking them to understand that they had it within their power to help those around them in need. This simple gesture made it easy for all those attending the dedication to understand why this sculpture was dedicated to Doris and Max Hunt.
Patten ended the program with a powerful quote from Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.
1970 Sculpture Dedicated at Washington & Jefferson College
Check out the slideshow about engineering, fabricating, installing and celebrating this beautiful sculpture.
1970 has been installed and dedicated at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. The sculpture was chosen in the college’s 1970 Commemorative Public Art Competition, a “work of art commissioned to celebrate the myriad changes that occurred during the 1970 academic year.”
1970 – the winning submission in the competition – is the 2nd sculpture in Bellaver’s “…in Motion” series. The works in this series are stainless steel kinetic sculptures featuring inserts of materials such as colored glass and painted metal. The Public Art committee that awarded the commission to Bellaver was particularly interested in the fact that the sculpture was kinetic. The piece was designed, when turned, to form many other views, representative of the changes so much a part of the first co-ed class at W & J, as well as the era of the ‘70s. The committee felt that it was a perfect representation of that time, and the “tag line” on the dedication plaque reads – Change is Motion, Motion is Change.
Louise Kirkpatrick Ross and Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab, members of the Public Art Committee and the first co-ed class, W & J Trustees, and the principal organizer/fundraiser and committee chair, respectively, of the 1970 project, introduced the sculpture and the people involved in the project in the Dedication Program. The Program explains the project. “’1970’ is viewed by some as the beginning of the modern history of Washington & Jefferson College…For the first time in its history, women were admitted to the College, the youngest president was inaugurated…a charter was issued for the first Black Student Union…art was declared a major. These are only a few of the sweeping changes that took place that academic year. The sculpture 1970 is the first of its kind on the campus and is dedicated to that time when [W & J] moved forward and maintained its status among some of the best liberal arts college in the modern era.”
In his Dedication remarks, Bellaver was asked by the committee to discuss his Artist Statement, the different liberal arts disciplines that came into play during the creation [and execution] of the project, and the tremendous significance of public art on college campuses. In addressing that request, he said, “A Liberal Arts education teaches us about the world and – as importantly – teaches us how to learn and think creatively. By adding public art to this beautiful campus, W & J is making a statement about the importance of creativity. This kinetic sculpture was designed for anyone to touch and move. It can be viewed differently, from different sides and different perspectives. A Liberal Arts education teaches us to value everyone’s perspective.”
The program’s ending remarks spoke again to the theme of change. Said Ross, “And suddenly W & J is a different college. We find ourselves taking a second glance at the school we thought would never change. But it has changed and will continue to do so. W & J is an institution in flux. To the new President, to the co-eds, and to those who are bringing about these changes the 1971 Pandora [school yearbook] is dedicated.”
After the ceremony, Hurwitz-Schwab said about 1970, “The piece far exceeded my expectations and I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out and how it looks.”
W & J’s Public Art Committee: Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab, Louise Ross, Susan Kepler, Patricia Maloney, Paul Scoles, Ruth Riesenman, Barbara Walls
Artist Statement for 1970:
I became an artist in the 1970s, and this sculpture is evocative of that time in many of its elements.
The stainless steel rods are welded together to form nine hendecagons, with an overall height and width of nearly 12 feet. This 11-sided shape represents W & J’s position as the 11th oldest college in the nation. Each of the interior eight “levels” of the stainless steel rod can be turned to form many other views, representing the changes so much a part of the era of the’70s.
The colorful spiral shapes within the hendecagon “grow” as the sculpture widens, representing the growth of the college. These brightly colored segments also represent an era when color was becoming dominant in art, architecture, design, etc. Tie dye, color saturation, vibrancy…
The juxtaposition of the colors and the stainless steel suggest the combining of masculine and feminine elements to celebrate the beginning of co-education at Washington & Jefferson.
W & J features 1970 on their website’s campus tour, celebrating it’s story as an important part of the college’s history.