Fenton — On Monday, June 8, the Midwest Sculpture Initiative (MSI) of Blissfield finished installing the 2020 exhibit in downtown Fenton.
These annual exhibits are normally installed late April to early May, but the Michigan COVID-19 stay-at-home order excluded MSI crews from their business. The final sculpture was selected as an alternate after their first choice was sold. The final sculpture, “Pier Work,” by Mark Beltchenko was installed Monday in the lot behind the Red Fox Outfitters building.
According to John Strayer, chair of the selection committee, most of the sculptures were installed May 28. This is the eighth exhibit, and cost approximately $14,000, which was paid for by the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). These sculptures will remain until the next exhibit in 2021.
Driving the downtown economy was the impetus for these exhibits and 2020 is no different. “Art’s incredibly important to business success in a community,” Strayer said, adding that it’s an open air walk, and the annual sculpture shows draw more visitors every year.
“Everybody’s anxious, nervous, but optimistic too.”
Strayer said they’ll again be providing a walking map for the sculptures soon.
The 2020 exhibit provides pedestrians with nine new conversation pieces as they stroll downtown. There also are nine permanent pieces.
Fenton Rotary Club buys sculpture for Fenton Fire Department
Sculpture “Sixth Fire” by Cynthia McKean will find a permanent home at the Fenton Fire Department FFD this year, thanks to the Fenton Rotary Club.
Chief Bob Cairnduff said the department was hoping to raise funds this spring to purchase the sculpture, which was part of the 2019 exhibit, originally located at the Fire Hall restaurant.
The pandemic squashed that idea so Cairnduff approached the Fenton Firefighters Association, which also has a member of the Fenton Rotary Club. “We were shocked when he came back to us and informed us that the Rotary wanted to buy the sculpture for the department,” Cairnduff said.
The final price was $7,000. It will be located near the entry point for the FFD building with new landscaping done by FFD staff and firefighters.
This brings the permanent pieces in Fenton to nine.
THE 2020 EXHIBIT
Title: Wall Goats
Location: Pedestal behind City Hall
Artist: Jonathan Bowling
Title: Trojan Ocarina
Location: Caroline and LeRoy streets
Artist: Judith Greavnu
Title: Bus Stop
Location: In front of City Hall
Artist: Todd Kime
Location: Next to the post office
Artist: Todd Kime
Location: Across from Fenton Hotel & Tavern patio
Artist: Ken Thompson
Title: To Hope
Location: Behind Fire Hall restaurant beside the river
Artist: William Walther
Title: A Sign of Love
Location: In front of Sagano Japanese Bistro & Steakhouse
Artist: Alex Mendez
Location: In front of Andiamo
Artist: Richard Morgan
Title: Pier Work
Location: East of Red Fox Outfitters
Artist: Mark Beltchenko