Summit Supports Art
Wednesday, May 9, 2012 • 5:02pm
Because of the artwork and sculptures placed in town, Summit is “known in the area as a city that supports art so people from the region come to town to see it,” according to LCJSMS Language Arts teacher Debbie Schwarzmann. The sculptures were put in place 10 years ago, and have been continually changing ever since. The town committee that chooses and places the sculptures in town is appointed by the mayor.
Summit is a “sports nation” according to Schwarzmann, who is also a member of the Mayor’s Partnership for Summit Arts, and “we wanted to see the arts represented in town.” Artwork and sculptures are in town to provoke dialogue between citizens, so that the “citizens talk to each other about, art”.
Eighth grade LCJSMS student Allison D. said “I think they (the sculptures) are very intriguing, and I like to look at them.” Her favorite piece is the “red spikey ball,” located across from the Village Green. Erica D. agreed with the positive opinion on the sculptures, saying they “are very pretty and bring life to the town. I like the piece where there are two people sitting down.”
No public funds are used to rent the art, because all the money that goes into the projects is from private donations. Schwarzmann said in the beginning it was difficult, and the artists were paid little. Now she said, the artists contact Summit to try and loan their work. About one out of every five pieces are chosen to display. If one of the committee members sees a piece they like from an artist, they will try and rent it on a whim. Each piece is valued at an average of$25,000.
Stone, metal, wood, light, ice, water, and concrete are important elements of the sculptures placed in town. Permanent art includes the glass windows in the bus shelters on Broad Street. They are visible on the lawn of City Hall, parks and any open space, and downtown mini parks, such as the Village Green. Tom Holmes, Richard Pitts, Howard Kalish, Ava Blitz, Boaz Vaadia, and Charlie Hewitt are a few the artists who have loaned their work to the town.
“I find it exciting to see what comes next,” Allison said.
LCJSMS Panther Pulse is a column written by students in the Digital Media program at Summit Middle School.
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