Great Blue Heron

Submitted by Virginia Sperry

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Client: Carroll County Recreation and Parks/Arts Council

Location: Sykesville, MD, United States

Completion date: 2018

Artwork budget: $8,500

Project Team

Artist

Virginia Sperry

Other

Jeff Diegitz, Director

Carroll County Recreation and Parks/Arts

Overview

This project began with an application to the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) to provide a grant for a piece of public art to be placed in a Carroll County park. A Great Blue Heron was chosen as the sculpture of choice. The artist envisioned the piece to be placed in the lake on a piling. The Rec. and Parks Department decided it would look great by the main dock. The heron is life-sized (approximately five feet high with a six foot wingspan). The heron is welded steel and is coated with a clear matte lacquer to delay oxidation.

Goals

Every two years the state of MD offers grants to counties in order to further the arts. The Carroll County Arts Council and the Carroll County Recreation and Parks Department had been discussing putting public art in one of the parks for some time. This was the first time that they attempted this kind of grant together. Virginia Sperry was the only artist considered for this project. The artwork was chosen to enhance the beauty of the park and create a focal point in the lake.

Process

The head of the Arts Council, the head of the Recreation and Parks Department and the artist met a couple of times to determine the particulars (what, where, when). The application was put together and sent in to the state. When the grant was awarded, the artist then went to work researching, designing and producing the sculpture. There were several meetings between the artist and the maintenance staff at the park to determine how the heron would be installed. The park was responsible for installing the pilings and creating and installing a sign about the sculpture. When the artist finished the heron, it the park staff installed it onto the pilings. The whole process took 16 months.

Additional Information

I enjoyed this project immensely. The amount of trust in my abilities by all involved was overwhelming. I think that it was an extremely successful project and I am really happy that this sculpture will be seen by thousands of people. It can also be used as a learning tool by the naturalists at the park. Click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOLn9h_0pgE to see the unveiling ceremony.