On Tour: Carroll Creek Kinetic Art Project Unveils Four New Sculptures | visual arts
Carroll Creek Park is a unique sight no matter the time of year, from the colorful water garden in the summer to the glowing sailboats in the winter. And now, thanks to the Carroll Creek Kinetic Art Promenade, the waterway will also be home to seven rotating sculptures year-round.
The Promenade Art, a project of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek, debuted last year with three sculptures near Market Street. The project has since added four new rooms and moved further into the creek, east of East Street, said Bernard Gouin, the founder of the project.
The new sculptures are all different in style. One represents a white lotus, while another represents in an abstract way the Old Frederick Maypole dancers.
“I hope what is in the creek right now will impress people, that they will want to participate,” said Gouin. “Someone will say, ‘I want to make a design’ or ‘I know someone who can do it and I’m ready to order or sponsor and partner in any way. “
Gouin, a member of the Carroll Creek Rotary Club, was inspired by the Gardens of Light in Montreal, which features colorful silk lanterns in all shapes and sizes. Instead of playing with light, he decided to pitch the idea of kinetic sculptures, which move with the wind, at the Rotary Club in 2019. His associates were immediately on board.
“It’s hard to look at a kinetic sculpture and not be mesmerized by it,” Gouin said. “It is art in movement, it is a mixture with nature.”
In early 2020, the Rotary Club installed three sculptures in the creek near The Wine Kitchen as part of a pilot program. Gouin said he learned a few key lessons from the pilot, including that the sculptures were too close together and the location competed with the Color on the Creek boats in the summer and Sailing through the Winter Solstice in the winter.
By moving the sculptures east of East Street, the Rotary Club is also giving itself the opportunity to install more sculptures in the future. This part of the creek is also easier to work with due to its more sandy bottom and greater width, Gouin said.
Gouin initially partnered with the Ausherman Family Foundation in 2019 to launch a request for proposals for artists living within an 80 mile radius of Frederick.
“We don’t want to showcase artwork from across the country. We really want to promote regional talent, so teaming up with the Ausherman Foundation first helped us gain a foothold, ”said Gouin.
Last July, the Rotary Club launched its second call for tenders through its own channels since the project was better known. Gouin said the Rotary Club had approved five new designs, but couldn’t find a sponsor for the eighth sculpture.
Each sculpture is anchored to the bottom of the stream by a steel pyramid weighing approximately 1,300 pounds. Gouin worked with some of his former colleagues at CANAM Steel at Point of Rocks to design the pyramids, and Equipment Development Co. in Frederick made the first three as a donation to the press. This year, the club added five new pyramids with its own funding. Because the eighth sculpture was not sponsored, there is still an empty pyramid.
The plan is to have four rotating sculptures every year so that new sculptures are always on display. This means that the three introduced last year will be phased out in 2022 and four will take their places.
“This way, people will be able to walk as they please and enjoy it all year round,” said Gouin. “It will be interesting to see what the snow does … but it’s part of the learning curve.”
Gouin contacted businesses along Carroll Creek including Idiom Brewing, Steinhardt Brewing, Attaboy Beer, Smoketown Brewing Station, and Yakabod before the sculptures were moved. He said everyone was excited about the idea.
The first sculpture is placed just outside Idiom Brewing and the last is placed at the end of Carroll Creek Park. The sculptures currently on display will be in place for at least the rest of the year.
“We bring a lot of visitors out of town to the breweries, which helps elevate the rotating brand. … They see that the club is really involved in the community, ”said Danielle Doll, president of public relations for Rotary. “The club really aims to give back to the community in so many ways, and it’s only one really big way that we love to do it. “
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