Art commission places mock sculpture to address concerns

Ashland, Ore. — The city of Ashland taking steps to ease tension about a proposed sculpture.

The Seattle-based sculpture called “Gather” was selected from 70 submissions to be placed in Gateway Island, between the Ashland Public Library and Fire Station No. 1.

Before Monday, all residents had to base their opinions off of were pictures. Some have said it’s ugly and won’t fit with Ashland’s historic buildings. Others are afraid it’s too big. Ashland’s Art Commission brought in a mock sculpture to the proposed site to give people a better idea of the artwork’s true size, just under 20 feet tall and 11 feet wide.

Bruce Bayard helped select the sculpture. He said the panel put a lot of thought into which piece of art to go with.

“I think the artist did a great job determining the best scale for this place,” he said.

While some are still hesitant others said art is made to be seen.

“In terms of scale I don’t think it’s hindering anything at all,” resident Richard Freise said. “I love art and I would like to see more of it.”

The money to pay for the $100-thousand sculpture comes from hotel taxes and is set aside in a fund to be used strictly for public art. The art commission will go before city council Monday night to provide more information about the project.

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