The Town of La Pointe Public Arts Committee solicited concepts and proposals* for a large sculpture design to enhance the beauty and enjoyment of our town harbor area. We are thrilled we have two very strong designs to present to you.
We welcome your comments about these designs as well as their proposed locations.
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We are not asking you to vote on either piece. We want to consider your comments and opinions and hopefully ideas in the Committees final design decision. Funding for this project will not come from town tax revenue but be secured through grants and private donations. We have an initial donation from the La Pointe Center of $20,000.
Here is a suggestion of design criteria for you to use with which to address your comments:
The artistic quality, uniqueness, style and nature, aesthetic and/or historical significance of the art.
Appropriateness of the site and location (working well within the scale and nature of the site).
The art is thematically appropriate for the context of the site – assessing for local thematic significance, such as Madeline Island history and natural environment.
Sculpture must allow for ferry boat visibility, and must withstand the winter weather as well as winds and water.
Below are the colored pictures of the pieces, artists’ descriptions, bio info, and estimated costs for each project. We have used pictures of models provided by the artists to create photo-shopped images of these designs in two locations we are considering for installation:
- The arm of the ferry dock to the left of the blue bins that MIFL leases and is willing to vacate for this project. We are interested in creating a small viewing area here with minimal beautifying. Some benches, plants, etc.
2. Circle of rocks in the area of the Pergola space.
*We got the word out by talking to Island artists, publishing submission requests in the Island Gazette for several issues, connecting with artist networks through La Pointe Center and Chequamegon Bay Arts Council, and contacting The Wisconsin Arts Board, including Karen Hoffman, chair of the Wisconsin Woodland Indian Arts Initiative. Another person spoken with several times is Katherine Morrisseau, the Ojibwe artist who spearheaded the Jingle Dress Dancer project and has been a liaison to other artists in this area.
Town of La Pointe Public Art Committee
Susan Sabre, Chair Peg Bertel, Charlie Meech, Robin Russell, Tim Sullivan, and Mary Whittaker
Below are the artists’ descriptions, some bio info, photos and estimated costs for each project:
GATEWAY TO MADELINE ISLAND
CHEQUAMEGON ART GLASS
My Sculpture would express the unique and personal character of the people of Madeline Island. The rock symbolizes the creation of our area billions of years ago and has and always will be there to show the strength and endurance of the island residences. This expression equally honors the original people and thru time the latter settlers. Its physical size and strength speaks to this.
I always take into consideration the physical space and surrounding environment which would encompass the atmospheric qualities; light, weather, etc. Also within the pad would be incorporated four outdoor LED lights for night time viewing.
The materials used to make the sculpture would be either 1 3⁄4” or 2″ thick Corten steel. Corten steel is also called weathering steel in the art world. It has the same strength properties as regular steel but a small amount of various alloys, mainly copper to allow it to rust and develop a beautiful patina much like bronze. It keeps the steel from deteriorating from excessive rusting. The glass inserts are symbolizing the fires of creation. This glass is 1″ thick and called Dalle de Verre.
The sculpture is 12’ tall and 6’ in diameter at the base.
The entire sculpture would withstand the forces of nature for any amount of time.
Chequamegon Art Glass was established in 1972. For several of those early years I operated a store front in Bayfield. I have well over 500 commissions executed with notable local public commissions: Northland College, City Hall Washburn, Wild Rice Restaurant, Maggie’s Restaurant, Stage North Theater, Mary Rice residence, Rittenhouse Inn, Moland Lutheran Church in Mason and Madeline Island Music Camp.
Project Cost July 14, 2020 $56,184 installation cost are not included (Costs are based on a high estimate to help alleviate future unknowns.)
GATEWAY TO MADELINE ISLAND
TWO HARBORS, MN
I have been living in Two Harbors for nearly 30 years, but I have family ties to Madeline Island and am a member of the Red Cliff Band. My grandmother is Isabelle Margaret Cadotte Perrin. Unfortunately, she had passed away before I was born. I have many fond memories of trips to the Island and still visit family members who live in Bayfield. Shortly after my last sculpture (2005), I took some time off of my art career to raise my sons and in the last couple of years started to pursue my art again. I mainly paint & have an original painting ‘Alive’, purchased by Madeline’s library, but as you can see I also enjoy creating 3-D work.
Loving the imagery of Madeline’s father’s name Chief White Crane and discovering that the crane clan were identified as the founders of the Ojibwe villages on Madeline Island helped me create my piece. I also wanted to incorporate imagery essential to the island’s history to its base: fur trade (beaver) industry, logging (pine/maple), winter season (snowflake), fishing (trout), native American (turtle/bear), flora (raspberries), reptile (crayfish/frog), land animal (deer). My thought was also wanting the white crane to be the only winged animal and to have it rising from the red earth. The steel base lends itself to this by not painting it.
The sculpture would be 1/2” & 1” painted (2 coat epoxy/urethane paint) & unpainted, A588 weathering steel with galvanized high strength bolts. Painted steel white cranes 10’ with a 2’ base. A total maximum height of 12’, base of 5’diameter. Estimated weight 1.3 tons.
Project Cost $19,000 installation cost not included
Examples of Lisa’s previous commissions
5 responses to “GATEWAY TO MADELINE ISLAND”
I strongly recommend the second sculpture concept by Lisa Kosmo, as it instantly conveys its visual message to Island visitors and residents using symbolism from the natural world and especially the Ojibwe culture. This is an often under-represented aspect of our Madeline Island and Chequamegon Bay area history. Also under-represented in the larger art world are women artists and especially Native women artists, whose voices have been historically silenced. It would speak volumes to support the work of a Red Cliff tribal member, and signage explaining the symbolism embodied in the sculpture presents an educational opportunity in itself. Even without an explanation, it imparts a “feel” of the island, as cranes are often encountered here. They are universally symbolic in many cultures.
In contrast, the first sculpture concept by Robert Adams does not convey the symbolism that the artist expounds on in his proposal. To the casual eye, it looks like another object, albeit an interesting one, but certainly not something that conveys a clear message that is going to be “read” by the general public easily.
I base my comments not only on personal visual preference, but as someone with a fine arts education and experience with many public art projects, as well as several years working in the tourism industry and talking with literally hundreds of Apostle Islands National Lakeshore visitors daily. Local Native American History and contemporary culture is something people always wanted to know more about. Lisa Kosmo’s sculpture would be a fine addition to welcome visitors to their island experience.
Version two. It is definitely the most elegant of the two submissions. The beauty of the lake is strongly reflected in the design.
It would be great if you could go to the link for the survey and add it to their process. Thanks so much!
Not sure where the link to the survey is (and I have scoured the narrative above) but I add my support for the elegant crane in model #2.
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