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Published: 1/29/2004

Ottawa Hills: Sculpture garden proposed

BY MIKE JONES
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Peggy Grant told Ottawa Hills council she would like to organize a temporary exhibit of sculptures by regional artists in the open space at the east village boundary. Peggy Grant told Ottawa Hills council she would like to organize a temporary exhibit of sculptures by regional artists in the open space at the east village boundary.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge

The main entry into Ottawa Hills may be dressed up this summer if a proposal to create a temporary sculpture garden becomes reality.

Peggy Grant, a long-time fixture in the local art scene, told the village council recently that she d like to design a temporary sculpture exhibit of works from regional artists in the open space on the public property between Indian and Secor Roads and Bancroft Street.

Ms. Grant, who has put together similar shows, said the artists are familiar with temporary exhibitions and know what kinds of work are best shown outdoors.

She said she would like to see colorful pieces, and most likely would be made of steel.

Council members generally approved the idea, but said they could not offer any financial assistance.

They suggested Ms. Grant contact the Ottawa Hills Foundation for possible financial assistance.

Council member Jeffrey Gibbs said he thinks the idea has merit and that individual and corporate sponsorship might be available.

Ms. Grant said her fee as curator for the proposed exhibit would be $12,000.

That fee would include contacting artists and getting written agreements with them, arranging transportation of the pieces and overseeing the installation, as well as being available for guiding some pre-arranged tours.

Other expenses would include the cost of transportation and equipment for installation of the pieces and for temporary bases for the sculptures.

The triangle of public land is simple open space, without particular plantings, trails, or other improvements, village administrator Marc Thompson said.

If damage occurs to a sculpture during the exhibit it would have to be covered by the artists insurance.

The village would rely on its own insurance if anyone were to be injured on village property. Ms. Grant said the exhibit would be for eight pieces to be on display from June 1 to Oct. 1.

No fee would be charged for the exhibit, and Ms. Grant said it is difficult to estimate how many people might walk through it.

She did say it was likely to gain attention because of its location as a major entryway to the village.

The best parking would be available along the south side of Indian Road and council members discussed the possibility of having signs direct motorists to the garden.

Ms. Grant said she would meet with former mayor Jean Youngen and other members of the foundation to determine an appropriate fund-raising mechanism.

Council members asked Mr. Thompson to send letters to homeowners near the location for any comment they might have.



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