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Welcome to the “Community”

Steve Bush and his team of artists and contractors installed the fourth and final sculpture of the Harrison Park Art Project on Friday, January 6, capping a nearly four-year project. Allie Raines’ Community is a fitting representation of the community spirit out of which Harrison Park has grown. The remarkable public-private partnership between Harrison West residents and business owners and Wagenbrenner Development has been thoroughly successful and a model for other such endeavors.

Raines’ sculpture presented some unique challenges to Bush, who has fabricated or overseen the fabrication of all four sculptures. The tapering curves and rounded forms did not lend themselves to the aluminum and stainless steel of which the other three sculptures are constructed. Bush had another material in mind, though, that would give him the flexibility to remain true to Raines’ vision without going wildly over budget.

Raines constructed a small 3D model of Community out of clay, then a Texas company scanned the foot-high replica. From the scan a computer-controlled chisel carved the form out of large blocks of high-density foam reinforced with a rebar frame. To protect the foam and to give the sculpture its bronzy color and slightly dimpled texture, a company in Dayton applied five heavy coats of a polymer similar to that used to create statuary in amusement parks. The result is a beautiful, durable reminder of what good things can come from cooperation.

This weekend promises to be quite a nice one for January in Ohio, so take a stroll along the Olentangy Recreation Trail south of Second Avenue and visit all four of the sculptures in Harrison Park: Sycamore by Mallory McClellan,  Community by Allie Raines, Riparian by Amanda C. Vandenberg, and Brassia Orchid by Hannah Mason-Macklin. Then pat yourselves on the back for being part of such a great public art project!

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