Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Soapbox Derby Update

Here is an update on the Max Hayes sculpture project. (Read first post
here.)

The project design was begun last spring, when local sculptor, Steven Tatar, came on board with the Max Hayes art students, to create an eye-catching entrance for the Cleveland Soapbox Derby park on the city's near-west side. It calls for two stainless steel race cars that will sit upon sandstone pillars, like trophys, on either side of the gate. A low 75 foot sandstone wall will run along the driveway, bearing the Cleveland Soapbox Derby sign cut out of stainless steel.
Ground-breaking began in November on the new entrance, located north of the Shoreway at the West 49th Street exit.

Unfortunately, not much progress was made after the initial footers were poured and the cinderblock laid.
Much to my frustration, fabrication was delayed for more than twelve weeks due to some design problems and other complications.
Thanks to the Cleveland Institute of Art, our cultural and fiduciary partner in the ICARE grant which funds this project, we are now working with nationally renouned scuptor Aimee MacNeel. Aimee, who chairs the Institute's sculpture department, came to our rescue with Mark and Derek, two of her graduating CIA students. They are providing us with the benefits of thier MIG and TIG welding skills, working along with the 2nd year Max Hayes welding students, in the shop.

The month of April was not kind to us at all, as late season snowstorms created additional delays for Anthony McCullah and the Bricklayers Union apprentice program. They had planned to come out and work at the 49th Street site in early April.
Now that spring is finally here, the crew has started facing the wall and pillars with Ashler sandstone, in a style reminiscent of the walls built by the WPA during the 1930's in Cleveland.
Beautiful.

The dedication, however, will have to be delayed.
Originally scheduled for June 4th, it will now take place on Saturday, June 25th at 1:00 pm. This coincides with the local Soapbox Derby championship races running all day at the track.

So come on down to the park and check out the sculptures, watch the kids race, and take a good look at what can be accomplished by a collaboration of dedicated, creative, Clevelanders.

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