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Sculpture project for Greenfield’s gateways

Recorder/Paul Franz
Gateway to Greenfield at Cheapside St

Recorder/Paul Franz Gateway to Greenfield at Cheapside St

GREENFIELD — The town is looking for artists who would like their sculpture to be one of the first things people see when they enter Greenfield.

The Greenfield Gateway Sculpture Project has announced its first competition for sculptures designed to welcome visitors and residents to town.

The first sculpture will be placed on the former Food and Fuel site on Deerfield Street near the corner of Meridian Street next fall.

“We are really excited about getting the project started,” said Caitlin von Schmidt, chairwoman of the Greenfield Cultural Council and coordinator of the Greenfield Business Association.

Town leaders, the GBA and Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, Greening Greenfield, the Greenfield Tree Committee, civic groups and individuals have been working with the mayor on this project since last spring.

Mayor William Martin said the project is intended to be a key element in the ongoing effort to beautify the community and make public spaces more attractive to residents, visitors and people who are thinking of relocating to Greenfield.

“There are so many accomplished artists in the Pioneer Valley,” von Schmidt said. “This is an opportunity to create a permanent piece of art that will welcome us all to town and be part of the town’s identity for many years to come.”

The competition is open to all artists throughout the valley.

Applications, including a two- or three-dimensional model of the planned sculpture, are due Feb. 4 and are available by contacting Susan Worgaftik, project chairwoman, at: suworg@comcast.net.

“This is a community effort, which we hope will involve everyone,” said Worgaftik.

She said a review committee will go through all of the applications and choose two or three it believes represent Greenfield best.

“Then, in March, the community as a whole will be able to vote for their choices,” said Worgaftik.

The result of that vote will be announced in April, she said.

“All sculptures will be permanent celebrations of Greenfield’s history, future, commitment to the environment, local agriculture, place in the county as a crossroads or some aspect of town life,” said Rebecca George, chamber events manager. “It is a very open canvas and we are looking for ideas that help us see our town from fresh perspectives.”

There will be an artists reception for the finalists at Artspace on Feb. 25, where the community will be able to see the renderings and meet and talk with the artists.

The community vote will kick off at the event and will be held online and in selected locations by ballot from Feb. 25 through March 25.

The winning artist will be announced April 20 at the “Little e,” formerly known as the Franklin County Home Show and Green Fair.

Other things Martin would like to eventually see at the town’s gateways, which he said include Deerfield Street, the Mohawk Trail, French King Highway and Interstate 91 at the “Welcome to Greenfield,” billboard, include solar-powered signs to inform passersby of upcoming events and provide public service and emergency notices, and landscaping and gardens.

Martin said he hopes to pay for the project with parking revenues and grants.

The Conway School of Landscape Design has been working with the town and offering advice.

For more information, email Worgaftik at: suworg@comcast.net.

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