The sculpture, which for the “non-artist” types, like me, doesn’t resemble your typical sculpture, and was originally crafted a few years ago through an inspiration of the education system of the local Montessori School. It consists of several wooden blocks ranging in all sizes and it invites the observer to climb all over it. The same can be said of “The Big Yellow Chair” located at the park on Raider Drive. The larger-than-life sculpture, named “Sitting Tall,” is also interactive, calling out to its observers to climb aboard, take a photo and post it on Facebook.
Both of these pieces were created and mounted by local resident, Josh Coleman. Josh is an artist and community advocate, as is evidenced by his other works, most notably a bronze rendering of our city’s namesake, Col. Benjamin Cleveland in First Street Square. The pieces currently on the Greenway are on loan by Josh to the community. We are grateful for his contribution and look forward to future pieces he may create and install for us to enjoy.
One of the requests of Greenway users through the years has been for distance markers so they can measure how far they have walked or run. Since there is not one specific starting place where most people get on the Greenway, it was decided a couple of years ago that the Mohawk Drive trailhead would be “Mile Zero” for a series of these interactive sculptures to be installed every mile. With the Pink Tower’s placement at Mile One and “The Big Yellow Chair” at Mile Two, two of the four designated mile markers are in place. With the recent completion of the Mohawk Extension of the Greenway, a spot for the Mile Zero piece of public art awaits. A plaza for the arrival of the Mile Three marker will be created next spring when a fourth restroom is built near the Church of God International Offices.
I spoke with Josh the other day about his plans for the additional interactive pieces and he is eager to begin. While nothing is on the drawing board, he has some plans rolling around in his artistic brain. In the recent Banner article, Josh said he wants whatever he creates, “to be enjoyed by the public and to be able to experience it in such a way that they can interact, play with it, climb on it and really transform the pleasure and the beauty of enjoying something for what it is.” Obviously, he has achieved that goal with his first two sculptures.
The tower and the chair were created not knowing they would ever be placed on the Greenway. The investment in them, artistically and financially, is all Josh. I committed to him that his next piece would not be a financial burden on him. Josh has created sculptures all of us can share and relate to and his next artistic expression will be funded though other sources. I feel confident there are a few organizations out there that can assist, specifically the Greenway Public Arts Committee. Perhaps there is an individual who appreciates Josh’s work and will step forward to fund it. That was the case with the Col. Benjamin Cleveland statue.
I can’t wait to see what eventually gets unveiled at the Mile Zero and Mile Three markers. If they are anything like the chair and the tower, our community will be artistically and interactively blessed!
Facebook: The Greenway