For an artist, watching all of the pieces of a major project come together can often be more exciting than the gallery openings and dedication ceremonies that follow. Perhaps it's the anticipation of so many months of work finally coming to a place where everything fits together just perfectly. Or maybe it's the love of the process, and coming to the final stages reveals the peak of this creative progression. It was a mixture of such emotions that Karen felt earlier this month when her large-scale sculpture, The Gabriels II, was installed at The Shops at Evergreen Walk. For her, watching the sculptures being raised up, far above our heads, was what she had anticipated for weeks.
Ready to Go
By 8:00 AM on Friday, November 4, everything was in place for the installation to begin. Laser cutter, Kurt Maley, had arrived from Rhode Island, and Tim the Welder was on the scene, eager to oversee and help wherever needed. The powdercoated aluminum figures sat patiently by the installation site, ready to claim their new home atop the 13-foot "stalks" that would serve as the base of Karen's sculpture. The crane was set to lift those giant poles into their places, and photographers stood ready to capture this momentous occasion on film. Everything about the day, right down to the warm weather and sunny, blue sky, was off to a perfect and exciting start.
A Minor Glitch
Of course, anyone who subscribes to the "Murphy's Law" theory knows that in any and every situation, things don't stay perfect for long. Such was the case with the Evergreen Walk installation. Everyone who was supposed to be there was ready to perform their role, and there seemed to be no problem in sight. At least that was the case until Kurt attempted to place the first figure onto the pole. It just wasn't fitting correctly. After inspecting the character, he found that the powdercoating had been applied inside the joints, making for an uneven fit. The coating would need to be removed in order for the pieces to fit precisely into one another. Tim the Welder knew just what to do. The Rossi Studios team, in a caravan of cars, transported all of the figures from Evergreen Walk to Tim's shop, which was fortunately just a few minutes away. In less than an hour, the figures were ready to go. The thin, yet troublesome, layer of powdercoating was now removed.
With the characters re-arrival at Evergreen Walk, the installation process was finally ready to begin. Before long, Karen was watching the moment that she had been looking forward to for so long: the attaching of the figures and raising of the stalks. As the first pole was gently raised with the crane and lowered onto its cement base, it was quite a dramatic moment. Over the next half an hour, the second and third poles took their places as well, making for a magnificent and impressive trio.
A Glorious Day
On the Sunday following the installation, the sculpture was dedicated in a special ceremony that drew crowds of fans, town officials, and friends. The occasion was marked by several speeches, a Rossi pin giveaway, signings by Karen, and a myriad of performances throughout the shops. The Gabriels II was given the honored distinction of being the first sculpture to grace the roundabout at Evergreen Walk. It will stay in this location for two years. After it's stay at the shopping center, two of the stalks will be moved to the South Windsor library, where they will join two large sculptures that Karen designed specifically for that location. In the coming years, works of art by other artists will make a home at The Shops at Evergreen Walk. For now, The Gabriels are happy to just fly above it all, peacefully spinning in the breeze, and living up to their name by serving as beautiful bearers of goodwill.
As Tim and Kurt work on the poles, the powdercoated characters wait to be attached to the 13-foot "stalks."