Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Adams County’s Visual Arts Commission Hosts Artist Site Visit for Public Art Commissioned for New Government Center

After a six-month competitive selection process, Irish sculptor Maurice Harron was recommended to the Adams County Board of Commissioners by the 12-member Adams County Visual Arts Commission as the artist to place two dynamic sculptures in the interior courtyards of the new Adams County Government Center. Harron, from County Donegal, Northern Ireland, was selected from over 200 applicants who responded to a call for entries sent out using the CAFÉ web-based artists’ network.
The Board of County Commissioners enthusiastically accepted the recommendation and Harron has already begun work on the two pieces, titled "Origins" and "21st Century," which will consist of six stainless steel columns in each courtyard, each topped with a bronze sculpture designed to represent the past, present and future of Adams County.

"Maurice is an accomplished sculptor with his own foundry in Ireland who has placed monumental pieces in Chicago and Boston,” said Bob Grant, chairman of the Visual Arts Commission. “We were excited by his enthusiasm, his understanding of our county and its culture and the dynamic presentation he made to win this competition. We are all looking forward to seeing his pieces in place early next year. We are sure they will be an excellent complement to the new Government Center."

The artist recently completed a visit to Adams County to finalize his design and arrange for preparation of the site where his sculptures will be placed. He was extremely impressed with the beauty and spaciousness of the eastern area of the county and the complementary contrast of the commercial and residential development in the western portion. He is both humbled and excited to be able to place his art in the Government Center.

“The people of Adams County have shown me great kindness and I am honored to create lasting pieces of artwork to represent the county’s rich past with a look into its future,” said Harron. “The building is designed to serve Adams County for 100 years and my vision is to create art that will sustain the passage of time.”

Funding for this project comes from a designated ½ of one percent of the capital budget to construct the Government Center, located on Sable Blvd. near 124th Avenue. The Visual Arts Commission recently applied for SCFD grant funding to help finance the project. The budget for both pieces is $140,000.

The Visual Arts Commission was established in 1996 and made an arm of county government in December 2008 by the Adams County Board of County Commissioners. Its mission is to commission sculptures and other artworks for the new Adams County Government Center and other county facilities that reflect and preserve the rich history and culture of Adams County.

Members of the Visual Arts Commission include: Chairman Bob Grant (Brighton resident), Vice Chairman Wilbur Flachman (Westminster resident), Claire Mannato (Adams County representative), Sharon Holbrook (Adams County representative), Chuc Duff (Westminster resident), Judee Dickinson (Brighton artist), Buz Hedglin (City of Thornton Public Art Director), Ruth Kedzior (Adams County representative), Kristen Hood (Adams County representative), Yolanda Mojzis (Adams County representative), Holly Osgood (Northglenn resident), Dino Valente (Westminster resident) and Harry Spetnagel (Gensler Architect consultant).

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