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Brookie site will eventually have signs, plantings, a light and benches

Recorder/Paul Franz
Shelburne Falls artist John Sendelbach listens to Greenfield Mayor William Martin during the official unveiling of his stainless steel sculpture, "Brookie," on Deerfield Street Friday.  It is the first of four planned gateway sculptures.

Recorder/Paul Franz Shelburne Falls artist John Sendelbach listens to Greenfield Mayor William Martin during the official unveiling of his stainless steel sculpture, "Brookie," on Deerfield Street Friday. It is the first of four planned gateway sculptures.

GREENFIELD — The committee that recently installed the 10-foot-long stainless steel fish sculpture “Brookie” on Deerfield Street is hoping to turn the site into a gateway park with signs, plantings, benches and lighting by next spring.

Susan Worgaftik, chairwoman of the Greening Gateway Sculpture Committee, said the committee will try to raise money between now and then so that it can buy those items and install them on the site to further highlight Brookie.

“Our problem is limited funds,” said Worgaftik. “We’re going to concentrate on this site and finish it before we choose our next gateway site.”

The committee, which has been working with Mayor William Martin, plans to eventually have several gateway sites at entrances to the town.

Worgaftik said proposals for the Brookie site include several signs, with one that provides information about the sculpture, another about the history of the former Food & Fuel site, and a third on the plantings on the site.

She said the committee would also like to install a solar-powered light that would shine on Brookie at night.

“We’d also like to put several benches on the property,” said Worgaftik.

She said the committee has already paid for one recycled bench, like the ones on the Town Common and along Main Street, but is hoping that residents, businesses or organizations will donate money to buy one or two more benches.

Brookie was created by Shelburne Falls metal artist John Sendelbach. The fish, made of spoons, forks, knives and other stainless-steel cutlery, sits atop a 12-foot-tall pole overlooking the Green River.

Mark Blanchette, producer of Wormtown Productions, donated $5,000 that the committee gave Sendelbach for his work on the project.

Worgaftik has said, along with other members of the committee, that the Greenfield Local Cultural Council is committed to public art that will reach a broad audience.

The park has been designated as one in celebration of Greenfield’s history as a center of stainless steel cutlery manufacturing — and Brookie is its focal point.

Sendelbach, 47, who owns Metal Stone Arts in Shelburne Falls, said the big fish is the project he has waited 12 years to create.

Committee member Rebecca George said Felix Lufkin and volunteers from Help Yourself have been assisting the committee in helping plant native plants throughout the new park.

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