County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Harrison DDA Partners with Clare County Art Council

Sculptures on Second Street


HARRISON – The Harrison Downtown Development Authority has partnered with the Clare County Arts Council to bring art to downtown Harrison. Four sculptures will be displayed in Harrison in 2023. In 2024 Harrison will join the juried art contest as part of the Destination Clare Art Sculpture Walk.

The Clare Sculpture Walk recently received the 2023 Governor’s Award for Innovation Tourism Collaboration by the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan.

The Clare County Arts Council is striving to expand their reach in Clare County. Carol Santini, Arts Council president said, “The Clare County Arts Council is excited to work with the Harrison DDA to bring art to Harrison. We look forward to continuing to work with Harrison next year.”

In addition to displaying art in Harrison, the Harrison DDA sponsored a sculpture in the 2023 walk.

Two of the art pieces displayed in Harrison were created by Harrison artists. “A Portrait of Dali” was created by Ian Humphres. “The Bee” was created by Jim Edwards. Both are Harrison graduates and live locally.

The Art Walk brochure quotes Edwards regarding his creation of “The Bee.”

“I built ‘The Bee’ on a flower when I was sick and could not work,” Edwards said. “I thought that if I could make something out of metal to stay busy, it would help me feel better physically and mentally. When I saw someone demonstrating the process of hammering sheet steel, it helped motivate me to create this piece. I decided to build ‘The Bee’ because it is Harrison Community Schools mascot. ‘The Bee’ was my very first attempt at creating a metal sculpture. The project took approximately two months to complete, and when it was finished if felt like something was missing. Then one day my friend brought over an old metal shelf which gave me an idea to make the flower. The flower took about three weeks to build. I used some old scrap pipe and an old umbrella stand to create the stem of the flower.”

The Art Walk brochure quotes Humphres regarding his creation of “A Portrait of Dali.”

“Salvador Dali has been an inspiration to me since I was in high school,” Humphres said. “I have always enjoyed his work with Surrealism. So, to pay tribute to his influence on my work, I decided to create a portrait of him out of metal, which is one of my preferred mediums. I bent the metal in a way that I was attempting to mirror his distortion of reality and yet still be recognizable as Dali. I think that creating a large Salvador Dali head/portrait, is surreal in itself, which makes me very happy and that was the whole point. I hope the viewers of my work enjoy the twisted portrait as much as I do.”

The “Hypnotic Sphere” was created by Clare Gladwin RESD CTE students, and the “White Tail” is by Jason LaDoux of Alma.

The Art Sculpture Walk brochure description reads: “Students from the 2021-2022 Clare Gladwin Career Technical Education Welding program collaborated to create the “Hypnotic Sphere.” Students utilized three artistic mediums in creating this sculpture: heat and bend of steel, steel sculpting, and incorporation of strap stainless steel punches to form the beautiful ‘Hypnotic Sphere.’”

The “White Tail” piece was made by Jason LaDoux of Alma. The Art Sculpture Walk brochure description reads: “This piece is made with plasma-cut leaves from car hoods and other scrap sheet metal. The year before I started this sculpture, I hit my first deer. Every year, there are about 1.5 million deer-related car accidents around the world, and deer accidents statistics show that they're most common from October through December, which is the deer mating season.”

Art Sculpture Walk brochures will be available in late May for the art in downtown Clare. The sculptures are displayed year-round and are for sale at the end of the contest period. The People’s Choice Award ballot is available on the brochure.

The opening reception for the 2023 Destination Clare Art Sculpture Walk was held  Tuesday, May 9 at the Venue in Clare and more information about this year’s walk will be in next week’s edition of the Cleaver.


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