Look for statues downtown this fallJune 12,2013By Gordon Dritschilo
The Downtown Rutland Partnership plans to line Merchants Row with statues.
Executive Director Michael Coppinger announced Wednesday that the partnership plans to place a sculpture garden in the grass along the sidewalk at the edge of the downtown shopping plaza.
“We’re hoping this will be an active garden,” he said. “We’re hoping it will be a draw from the farmers market on Saturdays.”
Coppinger said the idea is to place four to six sculptures in the city right of way with the intention of replacing them every year or so — hopefully as the artists sell the sculptures.
The partnership will need permission from the city, and Coppinger said he plans to meet with Board of Aldermen later this summer. He said he hopes to have the garden in place in the fall.
Coppinger said the partnership would put in the infrastructure and do the landscaping through the garden and was working with the Chaffee Art Center to recruit sculptors.
Chaffee Executive Director Margaret Barros said she had reached out to her members as well as to the Carving Studio & Sculpture Center in West Rutland and was seeing significant interest. Barros said there were plenty of local sculptors whose work could fit on one of the planned bases, which will be around 3 feet by 4 feet, or 4 feet by 5 feet.
“It’s not huge,” she said. “I’m looking at a pedestal right in front of me that’s 2 by 4½ feet. You could have a pretty dramatic piece on it. It doesn’t have to be tall — it just has to have a presence.”
Barros said she will look for pieces that could be studied in detail by pedestrians but still noticed and appreciated by passing motorists.
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