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Gateway sculpture finalists chosen

Vote online for favorite Greenfield project concept

Submitted image
“Upstream” and “Brookie” are the two sculpture concepts residents can vote on.

Submitted image “Upstream” and “Brookie” are the two sculpture concepts residents can vote on.

GREENFIELD — Two local sculptors will compete to have a work installed at the first of several of Greenfield’s gateway sites this fall, and it’s Greenfield’s residents who will decide which one.

Robert Markey’s sculpture “upstream” and John Sendelbach’s sculpture “Brookie” have been chosen to compete for the spot on Deerfield Street, where the winning sculpture will stand indefinitely to welcome residents, workers, visitors, and those just passing through, to Greenfield each day. The two artists are both Franklin County residents.

The Greenfield Gateway Sculpture Project grew out of Mayor William Martin’s idea to create “gateways” to Greenfield at all of the major entry points. He said he wanted several spaces that welcomed people with a mix of aesthetics and information.

The project’s organizing committee announced the finalists of its first competition this week.

This first sculpture will be installed in the fall on Deerfield Street in the green space where the former Food and Fuel was once located near the corner of Meridian Street.

Susan Worgaftik, chairwoman of the project organizing committee, said seven creative models and drawings were reviewed by a jury, which included Art in the Orchard Founder Jean-Pierre Pasche, artist Astrid Scheckels, Greenfield Community College Dean of Humanities Leo Hwang, Turners Falls RiverCulture Director Lisa Davol, and Greening Greenfield member Sandra Boston.

“The project has been a year in development,” said Worgaftik. “We are thrilled with the quality of the work that was submitted and believe that the residents of Greenfield will be, too. The jury has made its selections, and it is now time for the community to vote.”

Drawings of the two sculptures are currently online and will hang in a window of Wilson’s Department Store, 258 Main St., and in Artspace Community Art Center, 15 Mill St. until the competition ends on March 25.

“Although the submissions included several different themes, the finalists both concentrated on the relationship of Greenfield to the Deerfield River,” said Caitlin von Schmidt, chairwoman of the Greenfield Local Cultural Council and a member of the project organizing committee. “It makes sense for the site, which overlooks the Deerfield. We look forward to finding out which option most captures the community’s imagination.”

Worgaftik said the sculptor who is not chosen will have the opportunity to submit another sculpture for the next site, which has not yet been decided.

She said over the next four years, the project plans to place three other sculptures at key gateways into Greenfield. Suggestions for gateways have included the Green River at Dunkin’ Donuts on the Mohawk Trail, the Interstate 91 “Welcome to Greenfield” billboard site and French King Highway.

Worgaftik said she believes the next site will be announced and competition will begin around the time the first sculpture is installed.

The community may vote at Town Hall, Greenfield Public Library, or online at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2F822G3.

Voting will begin Monday and go through March 25. The winning sculpture will be announced on April 20 at the Franklin County “little e,” show, formerly the Franklin County Home Show and Green Fair.

The community will have an opportunity to meet the artists and their drawings on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. at Artspace, where a reception with refreshments will be held.

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

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