The Arts Council of White Lake may have finally found a location for the latest of its Art Walk Sculptures.
Arts Council representatives and the Whitehall city council discussed the possible location of a suspended “copper fish” sculpture at the council’s Nov. 12 meeting, and may have come up with a mutually agreeable location in city-owned Covell Park which is located along the White River, between White Lake and the river marsh area.
Peter Kuntz of the arts council’s Art Walk Committee, made a presentation to the city council on the recommended location which is about 100 feet north of the White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce depot office and about 300 feet from the visible and colorful Sailboat/Trees sculpture which is also a part of the Art Walk.
A request for that location was tabled by the city council at its Sept. 11 meeting with a request that the arts council review its request.
“We were charged to look at other places for the fish sculpture,” Kuntz opened his presentation. “There is much to be said about the attraction of sculptures and the suitability of sites,” he added. “With all due respect, we concluded this is the choice for the location.”
City Council member Tanya Cabala, who said she is supportive of public art, expressed concerns about locating another sculpture in Covell Park. “I’m not real crazy about putting another one in Covell Park. It may clutter it up. We want to be careful on not having too much of a good thing.”
Specifically, Cabala said she walked the recommended site, and believes a sculpture located there will block a view of the marsh area from the park and the bicycle trail. She said the sculpture could be moved nearby where a tree would be in the background, not the marsh.
The location would be between the bicycle path and the marsh, while the highly visible Sailboat/Trees sculpture is located in the lawn area between the bicycle path and Thompson Street (BR-31).
Council member Orville Smith agreed with Cabala that it would be better to move the sculpture to allow for a view of the marsh.
“We could move it to the right or left,” Kuntz said.
“Pete, I think this (conversation) has been fruitful,” said Mayor Emery Hatch who said before the presentation that the council wouldn’t make a decision on the location at that meeting.
Kuntz said the location by the chamber building would provide the best location for enjoyable viewing of the fish sculpture.
Material supplied by the arts council, describes the fish sculpture as three, two-dimensional weathered copper representations of three fish, a 10-foot long by three-foot high salmon, and a large mouth bass and bluegill, each three and a half feet long by three-feet high.
Kuntz said the fish will have treated marine plywood backing cut to the shape of the images, and the void between the plywood and the fish would be filled for strength with foam.
The fish images would then be connected to a vertical black pipe to give an effect of the fish floating above the wetland vegetation in the background.
According to a document supplied to the city from the arts councils, considerations for locating the sculpture in Covell Park are: its uniqueness for the area, its placement is at the edge of the part to avoid congestion, a fish sculpture close to White Lake is appropriate since the three species are representative of native fish in the area, if will give a visual transition from the tailored look of Covell Park to the adjacent natural wetland, the two-dimensional aspect of the sculpture limits its locations and the site is consistent with the arts council’s strategy to locate sculptures where they can be viewed by users of the bicycle trail and a major vehicular thoroughfare.
The arts council has located nine sculptures along the Hart-Montague Bicycle Trail State Park and the White Lake Pathway in the cities of Montague and Whitehall since Oct. 2005. The sculptures have been financially supported by area businesses, organizations and the general public.