The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 45 - 7/6/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Johnston opposed placing sculpture in park next to the old library
by Rob Shaul
The Millennium Sculpture designed by visiting artist Don Kennell will be sited in the Chamber Park next to the old Pinedale Library. This property is owned by the County and used as a popular skating pond in the winter.
On Monday, the Pinedale Fine Arts Council's Jo Crandall asked the Sublette County Commissioners if they would allow the sculpture to be placed in the Chamber Park. Commissioners Bill Cramer and Betty Fear approved the request over the opposition of fellow commissioner Gordon Johnston.
The sculpture designed by Mr. Kennell is a 17-ft high silhouette of the upper body of a cowboy constructed of a metal skeleton overlaid with copper sheets. Forged steel will be used as the facial lines in the silhouette. The sculpture will be green in color, as the copper sheets are exposed to the elements and oxidize.
Large holes will be punched through the silhouette, inside of which will be placed several smaller sculptures made of cast aluminum. The smaller sculptures will represent different historical images of Pinedale and Sublette County including a beaver, hay rake, trout, bull elk, and oil derrick. "We're trying to flesh out the story of this place through this imagery," Mr. Kennell told the commissioners, "and create something the public would be comfortable with."
PFAC board member and Pinedale artist David Klaren told the commissioners that PFAC had received some negative feedback about size of the sculpture. Last weekend he measured the height of the old library and said the sculpture will be as high as the old Library. He presented the commissions with a conceptual painting of the sculpture placed in the far southwestern corner of the Chamber Park.
Johnston Votes No
Commissioner Gordon Johnston of Daniel told Mr. Kennell and the PFAC board members that he had received several negative comments about the sculpture and about its placement. Mr. Johnston said the feedback he'd received was strongly opposed to placing the sculpture in the Legion Park or anywhere else on main street in Pinedale. "Most folks say the City Park [on south Franklin] is the place for that if it goes up. That would be my preference," said the commissioner.
To this Mr. Kennell answered that a "sizeable number of citizens" who had participated in the six public meetings on the sculpture felt the Chamber Park was the best location for the sculpture. He added that the Chamber Park location would make the sculpture more visible to visitors passing through Pinedale, and that the sculpture would be less vulnerable to vandalism.
Bill Cramer told Mr. Kennell that his only reservation with the Chamber Park location was that the park "is pretty sacred ground for the skating pond," but if the sculpture wouldn't detract from the skating, "I would have no objection."
Skating instructor Charlotte Keyser replied that she thought the sculpture would "enhance" the ice skating at the park, and possibly draw more people to it. She added that ice-skating occurs at the park just two months of the year, and "this would be something that would be here year round."
"That's the problem," quipped Mr. Johnston. "If it is built at all, it should be in the town park," he concluded."
"I'm not a Pinedale resident," Betty Fear told Mr. Kennell, "but I have no objection to it being in the ice skating pond." Ms. Fear added that if Pinedale decided it didn't want the sculpture, "We'd love to have it in Big Piney."
Ultimately Mr. Cramer and Ms. Fear out-voted Mr. Johnston 2-1 to allow the sculpture to be placed in the Chamber Park. The target completion date for the sculpture is the end of September.
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