|Artist Richard Fields pretends to dust his “Fish and Game” sculpture outside the Prescott Valley Public Library and NAU/Yavapai buildings.|
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
|Claire Macewiez, 90, at left, donated money to the Prescott Valley Library toward the purchase of Russell Marohnic’s “Windswept” sculpture near the entrance to the library. Marohnic, right, has two additional sculptures on display this year.|
Trib Photo/Sue Tone
The open stone book near the entrance to the Prescott Valley Public Library is the newest acquisition to the town's permanent collection of outdoor sculptures, now numbering 22, Stuart Mattson, PV Public Library director, announced May 15 at the annual Art at the Center reception.
Thanks to a donation by Prescott Valley resident Claire Macewiez, 90, Russell Marohnic's sandstone sculpture titled "Windswept" will remain in its position greeting library visitors as they walk from parking lot to the front doors.
"Stuart loves it so much, I just couldn't see it leaving the library," Macewiez said.
The town and its Arts and Culture Commission have worked together for the past seven years on the Art at the Center public art program. The Commission solicits artists from around the state to lend to the town for a year their sculptures for display and for sale. If the piece is sold, it remains with the town for the remainder of the year, and 20 percent of the purchase price goes back to the town to help buy artwork for its own permanent collection.
"Windswept" was installed two years ago, and Marohnic had agreed to allow the town to continue the temporary display of the stone and metal sculpture of five books and bench.
"Public art, by its nature, is meant to be an integral component of the landscape," the A&C Commission brochure states. "Public art is never passive and is meant to get your attention."
Marohnic has two new sculptures, "Standing Proud" and "Rock Stop," that call out for those who want to sit and rest awhile.
"Both sculptures are intended that the viewer becomes a part of it, so you can sit there and look around to see what's around you," he said, referring to the rock benches that make up part of the sculpture.
"Standing Proud" is located near the Civic Center parking lot. Marohnic described it as soft, beautiful stone, at the same time very strong like a guardian. "Rock Stop" is found at the east end of the NAU/Yavapai building adjacent to the Civic Circle amphitheater.
Currently there are 38 art pieces exhibited on the grounds of the library and Civic Center and inside both buildings. Although the commitment is for one year, sometimes the artists agree to leave them for a longer time, as happened this year, said Brian Witty, PV Parks and Recreation director.
"The (A&C selection) committee felt that they wanted to see all continuing works remain if the artists so chose, and they did," Witty said.
Also new to the community is "Fish and Game" directly in front of the NAU/Yavapai building. Cave Creek artist Richard Fields said a trip to Alaska inspired the piece after he studied Inuit art in which transformations from animal to person occur.
"I was intrigued by how you can walk around and view it from different angles," said A&C Commissioner Nancy Smith.
Fields said the three aspects to "Fish and Game" involve human anatomy (a "derriere"), antlers from a stag (the game), and the tail of an orca (the fish).
Ed Reilly, owner of Bronzesmith Foundry in Prescott Valley, announced during the reception that the head of Not So Gentle Tamer was welded to the body earlier in the day. The statue, which will stand permanently at the intersection of Lake Valley and Lakeshore, will be dedicated on July 27. In the meantime, viewers can enjoy seeing it in the PV Days parade on June 15.
"At least with the Tamer standing there on Lakeshore, speeding violations will go way down. Everyone will slow down to look at her," Fields quipped.