Butterfly sculptors meet sponsors

February 19, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

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HAGERSTOWN -- Arts supporters made a flap Thursday about the butterfly effect coming to Hagerstown.

The city is the latest to try a single-theme public-art project. Artists will design 30 butterfly statues, to be placed in and around the city's downtown -- the home of an arts school scheduled to open in August.

A foundation is raising money through the Take Flight project for programs at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, which will be part of the Washington County school system.

At a reception Thursday at the Washington County Arts Council on West Washington Street, a crowd applauded the school and renderings of the butterfly art.


The sponsors met the artists, who will work several weeks on their pieces. The sculptures will be unveiled April 24.

Maryland Metals, which is producing the aluminum sculptures that will be designed, is sponsoring five of them. Other businesses, community organizations and local government bodies also are sponsors, at up to $5,000 per statue.

Angie Youngblood, a member of the art school's foundation, said more than 100 artists submitted renderings and 30 were chosen.

Some winning entries had names specific to Hagerstown, such as "Hub City" and "Heiskell Musical."

Shippensburg (Pa.) University students Augusta McAlhany and Jessica Kyner will create "Flight of Ulysses." Using mild steel, which is pliable, they will make a montage of many small-scale versions of the butterfly model.

McAlhany said they wanted a color and a texture to draw people in.

"Butterfly Fairy," the planned creation of Cindy Roberts Downs of Clear Spring, will have a painted female figure clad in leaves and vines, with her arms outstretched.

Downs said she saw similar public-art projects -- buffalo in Custer, S.D.; bears in Vermont; cows in Harrisburg, Pa. -- and was glad to get a chance to be part of one locally.

Mike Jandora of Martinsburg, W.Va., a Shepherd University freshman, will make "Penny Butterfly." He plans to attach pennies and make swirl patterns based on the patina, or color change from oxidation.

Guessing he'll need $60 or $70 worth of coins, Jandora said he was inspired by the near worthlessness of a single penny, but how they can be grouped to form something of value.

The butterflies will be on display from April 24 through June 20, when a gala auction will be held and some statues will be auctioned.

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