Public Art

Public Art + West Lancaster Jewels Artful Intersection

Lancaster Public Art has partnered with the West Lancaster Jewels neighborhood group to paint a community mural on the street in front of Crystal Park at the intersection of Crystal St. and First St.

Artist Justin Jones, who lives in the neighborhood, helped create the mural design with input from residents. The design has been outlined on the street, and will be completed at the neighborhood block party on Saturday, June 29. The public is invited to help paint the mural at the block party.

The street mural is intended to foster neighborhood pride, create public art and promote traffic safety. Communities across the country have implemented similar murals.

Photo courtesty of Miriam Ortega-Brown/West Lancaster Jewels Neighborhood Committee

Public Art Project Receives National Honor

Americans for the Arts has honored “This Neighborhood Is…” among 50 outstanding public arts projects created in 2018 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled on Friday, June 14 at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis. This is the 18th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public art works.

The mural, a public art project led by Lancaster residents Salina Almanzar and Osmyn Oree, was installed on the façade of the Water Street Mission along S. Water St. across from Culliton Park in September 2018. Residents were invited to finish the sentence, “This neighborhood is...” and sit for a portrait.

Over three days in September, Almanzar and Oree, along with volunteers from the community, installed 20 portraits and 25 responses on the wall of the Water Street Mission. All participants were invited to help install the mural. Volunteers were provided lunch during each day of installation and were gifted a free print of their portrait as a thank you. Two Dudes Painting Company donated paint and Rental Zone donated a lift for the project.

The mural was the final product of four months of community engagement regarding the renovation of Culliton Park.

“Participants expressed that the project broke down barriers between folks that live in the neighborhood, folks that use the park as home, and folks in transition. They felt that the regular and consistent presence of art in the park helped encourage more families to come out and engage their neighbors,” said Almanzar.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

Two independent public art experts – artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Aaron Ott, Curator of Public Art at Albirght Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York – discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions in selecting this year’s choices for the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2018.


Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at

Lancaster Public Art (LPA) focuses on equity, livability and excellence to promote neighborhood connectivity, create meaningful collaborations, and magnify Lancaster’s distinct sense of place. LPA is comprised of the Office of Public Art, the Public Art Advisory Board, and community volunteers called Public Art Advocates. The Office of Public Art, a bureau of the City of Lancaster, was created in 2010 and is operated by the Public Art Manager. Additional information is available at

Exhibit Celebrating LGBTQIA+ on Display in City Hall

The public is invited to join Lancaster Public Art at a reception for “Queering the Arts,” an exhibit honoring the queer experience, in City Hall Gallery, 120 N. Duke St., on Friday, Nov. 2, at 5 p.m. The show will run through the end of November.

The exhibit is in celebration of LGBT History month in October, and Transgender Awareness Week and the Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20.

“Queering the Arts” provides a snapshot of what artists within the transgender community are creating, to shed light on the thoughts, preoccupations, aesthetics and politics of queer artists. Barry Russell, founder of Rainbow Rose Community, initiated the project.

“The artists might identify as queer/LGBTQIA+ [and] their work does not necessarily have to represent this, but equally can, and does,” said Russell.

Erica Millner, artist and co-owner of Mio Studio, curated the work of 12 artists that identify as queer.

The group show features artwork in a variety of media from artists Alex Luna, Artie Van Why, DJ Ramsay, Erica Millner, Freiman Stolztfus, Jezebeth Roca Gonzalez, Joey Ressler, Kevin Miller, Laura Luce, Loryn Spangler Jones, Mai Orama Muniz and Michelle Johnsen.

LGBT History Month is an annual, monthlong observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. Transgender Awareness Week is a weeklong celebration dedicated to educating the public about transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and the issues associated with their transition or identity, culminating with the Transgender Day of Remembrance which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.

City Council passed a resolution recognizing October 2018 as LGBTQ History Month at their regular meeting on Oct. 9. A resolution regarding Transgender Awareness Week and the Day of Remembrance will be introduced in November. More details about that resolution are forthcoming.

City Hall Gallery is free and open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The artwork on display is available for sale, and proceeds from artwork sold in City Hall Gallery go directly to the artist.

Inside Out Dreamers

Lancaster is a welcoming city proud of our diversity, so Lancaster Public Art was pleased to work with Emerson CollectiveChurch World Service, League of Women VotersLancaster Stands UpLatinx Lancaster and Invisible Americans to create Inside Out Dreamers, a temporary art installation at 101 North Queen Street.

The Inside Out Dreamers website explains, "The project takes part in Inside Out, a global participatory art project initiated by the award-winning artist JR to pay tribute to the power and dignity of individuals by displaying their portraits in public spaces around the world. People share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. Beyond any political debate about dreamers, these portraits remind us that behind the policies are real human stories that are deeply rooted in the story of this country. Inside Out/ Dreamers aims to represent the diversity and unity of people that can call America home. It is a nationwide participatory art initiative aimed at creating a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike."

The mural is made of paper and water soluble paste. It is expected to stay on the building for a couple of weeks depending on precipitation. If we get a lot of wet weather it may come down sooner. So get downtown and check it out while you can!

Lancaster Public Art works to build connections between neighbors and artist to unify our communities and create a more engaged, equitable and colorful city. To learn more about what life is like for a Dreamer, take a minute to watch local Audrey Lopez tell her story.

Inside Out/ Dreamers

On Wednesday, December 13, Lancaster Public Art, Church World Service, League of Women Voters, Latinx Lancaster, Lancaster Stands Up and Invisible Americans will host Emerson Collective, a social justice organization that is touring the country to produce Inside Out/ Dreamers, in Lancaster City. The project takes part in Inside Out, a global participatory art project initiated by the award-winning artist JR to pay tribute to the power and dignity of individuals by displaying their portraits in public spaces around the world. People share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art.

Emerson Collective will create an installation at 101 North Queen Street designed to express solidarity with the Dreamer population. The installation calls for groups and the public to participate in taking a selfie in their traveling photo truck. Anyone and everyone who want to shed light on the struggle of the Dreamer population in Lancaster can participate at any time throughout the day.‬ Each selfie is immediately printed from the truck, and then will be adhered to the former Bulova building to create a temporary mural. The mural will last up to 3 weeks, and will be moved once it begins to deteriorate.

Beyond any political debate about Dreamers, these portraits remind us that behind the policies are real human stories that are deeply rooted in the story of this country. Inside Out/ Dreamers aims to represent the diversity and unity of people that can call America home. It is a nationwide participatory art initiative aimed at creating a portrait of America that includes immigrants and the descendants of immigrants alike.

Black History Month Exhibit Opening

Lancaster's African American citizens have helped construct the City's buildings, owned its businesses, entertained its residents, fought for its freedom, educated its children and lead its government and church congregations. Join City Councilwoman Barbara Wilson for the opening of a special exhibit celebrating the contributions of African Americans to Lancaster.

The opening of the Black History Month exhibit will be held on Friday, February 3, from 5 - 8 pm in the City Hall Gallery, in conjunction with downtown Lancaster's First Friday activities. A presentation will be held at 7 pm.

The exhibit features photos, documents and small artifacts that chronicle the contributions of Lancaster's African Americans from the late 1700s to the present. The display provides a resource for all Lancastrians to learn more about the cultural, economic and educational impact African Americans have made in our community.

Following the Friday opening, the Black History Month exhibit will remain on display through March 31. The City Hall Gallery is located in the first floor annex section of Lancaster City Hall, 120 North Duke Street. The gallery is open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm.

The exhibit was organized by Councilwoman Wilson, the Lancaster Office of Public Art and a committee with representatives of the Lancaster Branch of the NAACP, African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania and the Crispus Attucks Community Center. This exhibit is being supported by

For more information about the City Hall Gallery, please visit

New Public Art Exhibit Installed at Amtrak Station

The City of Lancaster is pleased to present the third installment of our popular Exhibit Series at the Lancaster Amtrak Train Station, opening on Thursday January 19. Three glass display cases located on the station concourse will feature exhibits by the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, Rock Ford Plantation, and Lancaster Public Art. The exhibits are curated to be artistic, educational and to visually enrich the environment for the public.

For the first time, Lancaster Public Art will participate by creating an exhibit to display information about public art sites in Lancaster, as well as educational information about the process of creating public art. One special item on display will be the maquette, the sculptor's small preliminary model, for Silent Symphony. Silent Symphony is the kinetic installation by Lyman Whitaker located just outside the Train Station and it is Lancaster’s most ambitious Public Art project to date.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s exhibit will highlight the important role the museum plays in preservation of historic objects and how these artifacts are presented to the public. Objects on display will include a conductor’s uniform, scale model of a locomotive, slice of rail, tools, lantern, oil can, and more.

Landis Valley’s exhibit is titled “Through Our Hands: Preserving the Past through Teaching the Future. The work of four traditional craftspeople will be on display, works created using the following skills; coopering, leatherworking, basket making and tinsmithing.

Rock Ford Plantation’s exhibit titled “Cooking and Dining in the Early American Republic” will included a pewter coffee pot, tin cheese mold, copper tea kettle and other pieces that the Hand family would have had in their home.

This Exhibit Series began in 2015 and is part of City of Lancaster’s ongoing public art program, focusing on increasing engaging and interesting art in public spaces. Next time you’re headed by the Amtrak station, stop by to see both the Silent Symphony installation outside of the building and the display cases inside.

For more information about the City of Lancaster Public Art Program, please visit

Community Conversations about Public Art

The City of Lancaster is developing a plan to guide the future of public art in our community. The plan will be created with research and community participation. Everyone is invited to attend a conversation about public art. Learn about a wide variety of art projects that engage people and offer different types of experiences. Share your feedback about the types of public art you would like to see in Lancaster. 

Each of the Community Conversations will take place in different parts of the city and at various times of day. People are encouraged to pick the event that best suits their life schedule. Each event will include a presentation by Renee Piechocki and Jennifer McGregor, public art consultants. After the presentation, the community participants will be asked to vote with stickers on the types of projects they would like to see, as well as make notes about specific locations in Lancaster that are ripe for public art. 

3:30-5:30 p.m. at Candy Factory Co-Working Event Space, 342 North Queen St., Rear Warehouse D, 17603 

7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Nxtbook Media, 480 New Holland Ave #7101, 17602 

10:00 a.m. to noon at San Juan Bautista, 425 S Duke Street, 17602 

2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Lancaster REC, Brandon Park, 525 Fairview Avenue, 17603 

In addition to the four interactive events, everyone is invited to visit our table/tent at Binns Park, from 6 - 8 pm, during Music Friday on May 20th. We will have information and ask for participation in a sort survey. 

For questions about this project, contact Public Art Manager, Heidi Leitzke.

Sculptures Installed at 6th Ward Park

Three abstract metal sculptures by the late artist Tedd Pettibon have been installed at 6th Ward Park. The sculptures were donated to the City of Lancaster by the estate of Tedd Pettibon after his death in 2014. Pettibon was a Visiting Scholar and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an Adjunct Instructor at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Pettibon earned his MFA in sculpture from Sam Houston State University in Texas and a BFA in sculpture from Indiana University of PA.

Pettibon used earthy, solid materials to create his art – steel, bronze, wood, stone, and concrete. Through careful placement of inanimate objects he breathed life into them. His beautiful, poetic sculptures inspire contemplation. Our imaginations become engaged creating meanings of our own or interpreting his intention. His work continues to inspire us to use our imagination.

In September another Pettibon sculpture, “Segments” was installed outside the Queen Street Garage (Lemon St. entrance). Segments previously had been installed outside the Prince Street Garage near the intersection of Orange and Prince Streets as part of the Art on Orange Project initiated by the City of Lancaster’s Office of Public Art.

The Tedd Pettibon sculpture project is part of City of Lancaster’s ongoing public art program, focusing on bringing thought-provoking art to public spaces.

12 Reasons to Support Public Art

Something tricky about Public Art is how difficult it can be to measure its impact. It’s easy to justify that a city needs, say, fairly reliable sewer system maintenance. But Public Art maintenance? It can be tough. Is there Lancaster City data on how many commuters remark on “Silent Symphony?” Are there statistics for how ineffably a Musser Park sculpture brightens someone’s day? It’s hard to argue that pieces of Public Art don’t enhance a landscape, of course, but what else does it really do?

Well, I’m glad you asked. Since I started this internship two months ago, plenty of people have been asking me the same thing. Now, I could talk plenty on the subject. It’s great for building communities, bringing life and pride back to old neighborhoods, fostering art, ingenuity, and tourism—but it was not until last week that I finally stumbled upon the perfect, pocket-sized validation of Public Art. Last Wednesday, July 22nd, The Office of Public Art hosted a dedication ceremony for “Silent Symphony,” the installation by the Amtrak Station. It was a beautiful, breezy summer afternoon, just perfect weather to highlight the spinning kinetic sculptures. Charlotte Katzenmoyer, Head of the City’s Department of Public Works, was one of six speakers who briefly honored the installation. She thanked all who had been involved in the project, and then said these seven golden words: “Public Art is truly an economic investment.”

And there it was. I became just one of many to find an answer in Charlotte Katzenmoyer. What a clean, simple, rational way to sum up Public Art’s worth. Yes, reader, Public Art really is a matter of economics.

Think on this: a nice piece of Public Art—be it a bench, a sculpture, a mural, or something kinetic and interactive—makes a street look nicer. That, we can all agree on. Its selection and installation drum up some interest to that part of town. Ooh, what are they building over there? How much progress have they made? It brings something distinctive to that street corner. People can give directions based on that big mural on the corner. So, we start there. Commuters notice it on their drive into work, and start pointing it out to their guests. Pretty soon, that better-looking street draws more proud residents out of their homes and out into the neighborhood. Maybe a few local entrepreneurs take note of all the foot traffic, and decide this reinvigorated part of town would be a good place to open up their business. Before too long, more businesses, residents, and hey, even a few tourists are all on the street, taking photos and taking in the Lancaster charm. A beautiful street is a bustling street. And a bustling street means a strong economy.

So in beautifying, Public Art revitalizes. In revamping, it restores. Public Art really is about economics, and investing in Public Art really is investing in Lancaster.

Let’s say you were to donate to, oh, I don’t know, the Lancaster County Community Foundation’s Extraordinary Give on November 20th  (mark your calendars!). And let’s say you just happened to donate to the City of Lancaster’s Office of Public Art. Well, for just $25, your contribution could…

1. Make 50 children smile.

2. Spark 10 conversations between strangers.

3. Make 70 passer-by do a double-take.

4. Help 50 Lancaster residents love how their neighborhood looks.

5. Give 60 people something neat to show their out-of-town guests.

6. Inspire 25 kids to take an art class.

7. Make 100 people even more proud of their neighborhood.

8. Give 35 Lancaster residents a new idea.

9. Spur 60 people to ask new questions.

10. Motivate 30 city dwellers to appreciate the community around them.

11. Create countless memories, moments, and experiences.

12. Make all of Lancaster a more unique, welcoming place to live!

The work that Public Art does is all part of revitalization and community-building. It’s a long process, and that’s precisely why it’s so important to invest, and keep investing, in Public Art now. I’m so happy I could learn this lesson up close all summer. Enjoy all of Lancaster’s Public Art, and keep this goodness going. 

By Erin Moyer, Public Art Intern

Lancaster Unity Community Cleanup

Lancaster Unity was originally formed after I saw litter on the sidewalks of our beautiful city. I posted on Facebook asking what we could do about the trash, people responded, one thing led to another and eventually we held our first community clean up. Almost a year later, we are looking forward to our fifth clean up event. 

On Saturday, August 22, Lancaster Unity and Isaac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches invite the community to come out and pick up litter around the city. The litter collected will be used for “Let's RETHINK Litter in Lancaster”, a Litter Letter Project sponsored by Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority. The word RETHINK will be displayed in the city, built with 3D letters made from chicken wire and rebar and filled with trash collected from the city streets. We hope the display will encourage people to RETHINK and reevaluate their consumption and waste.

Please join us in collecting trash to fill these letters and help to bring awareness and action to the litter that is in our gorgeous home. Everyone is invited to join on August 22 at 10 AM at Tellus360, 24 East King Street, for the clean up event. Bags, gloves and vests will be provided. Click here to view the event on our Facebook page.

By Martha Good, Lancaster Unity

Not Everything we Create has to DO Something

While installing Silent Symphony, the artists were asked by a couple people if they ever use their sculptures to power something. The artists' response mirrored what public art advisory board member Libby Modern discovered recently through her own project: it takes a lot to power something. John Whitaker's comment was, "With the amount of energy the sculptures produce they would be lucky to power a light bulb - not everything we create has to DO something, some things are just fun to look at, think about and enjoy!"

Read more about Libby's project on her blog.

Students Recite Poem at Mural Dedication

Last week, a ceremony was held at the Ewell/Gantz Playground in honor of the mural commemorating Barney Ewell and Ida Gantz.

African American Gold Medalist, Barney Ewell, was the winner of one gold and two silver medals at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He was born into poverty in Harrisburg and went on to become one of the world's leading sprinters. Mr. Ewell attended JP McCaskey High School and served in WWII from 1941 to 1945. After returning home, he attended college and received his B.S. degree. His childhood home was located on the site of the Ewell Gantz Playground.

Ida Gantz was instrumental in the formation of Head Start in Lancaster, as well as other childcare initiatives. She was active in the community and a lifelong member of the Bethel AME Church, founding member of the Southeast Area Council, member of the NAACP, member of Queen of Sheba Temple, and auxiliary of the Conestoga Lodge of Elks. Until her death she helped to maintain the park and provide a safe environment to children in the neighborhood.

Both Barney and Ida serve as excellent role models for children in the City, and the mural was a great way to for students to learn about these two respected community members. Tamea Allen and Kimberly Delgado, two students from the Mix at Arbor Place, located right next to the playground and mural, were inspired by the mural to write a poem, which they recited at the mural dedication. Read on for their poem.

Kimberly Delgado

She was what I want to be and what I hope to see.

A miracle seed, planted not far from the children’s tree.

A leader, that didn’t worry about skin color, or looks, instead she focused and stayed reading her books.

As this seed continues to grow and miracles begin the show, I WILL be the reason because this IS the season for change.

Not to sound strange, but it’s time I rearrange the way youth minds are set up now a days.

It’s time to prepare, not for a test, but for something called success. Look not to the sky, but past it there is no limit nor an amount of minutes that you have to wait for the opportunities sitting on your plate.

I hear a voice at the starting line saying… “There is no time for hesitating.”

Tamea Allen

Negativity is the perception describing a child of color.

There are children in a track met every day, racing for the gold medal until all of a sudden we hear people say “there is no way.”

We’re here to let you know that even if it snows, this marathon is still going on.

We’re running and running, striving and thriving for a change that can definitely be made with the power we hold and the things we’ve been told.

Youth depression, youth drug dealers, youth parent lost, youth gang members and youth suicide and wait, did I forget to motion the taking away of our pride? Are all things that youth go through with their parents asking what, when, where who and why trying not to let us see them cry.

Doubted, let down, shot, stabbed and beat are just a few as to while youth often take a seat.

Tripping, stumbling and then we fall, not from heat but from the discourage that is placed at our feet.

I won the gold medal, it’s now in my hands and as long as I stand negativity WILL NOT be the perception describing this child of color.


Ewell Gantz Mural

The Ewell Gantz Playground, located on the corner of South Christian and North Streets was dedicated in 1996. It was dedicated to Henry Norwood “Barney” Ewell, a local Olympic athlete, and Ida Gantz, an active community member. Both were strong, well-known members in Lancaster’s Southeast community. The Ewell Gantz playground is situated in the heart of Southeast Lancaster City. It is a residential corner where children live and frequent on a daily basis. It is next door to Arbor Place, an after school program for kids and teens.

Last year, the Public Art Advisory Board and the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (PCA&D) collaborated on a mural commemorating both figures. Senior PCA&D illustration students Tylor Heagy, Danny Morgan and Nicole Cruz-Ramos, along with Jonathan Yeager, a PCA&D alumni and adjunct instructor in the illustration department, created a series of images which were tweaked, critiqued and ultimately chosen by local residents. Tylor Heagy created the final design using elements from each of the artists’ works.

Heagy said prior to the project’s conception, he had not heard of Ewell or Gantz but saw, “it was immediately clear how inspirational and giving each of them were.”

He continued to discuss the collaborative working process, working with two other artists, an instructor and the neighborhood's suggestions saying, “It has been an amazing experience to work with such a strong team. We thrive off of each others’ work. This energy also comes from the community. Their feedback and opinions were strong contributions to what the mural looks like today.”

His favorite part has been meeting the children in the community to get their opinions. “It’s always humorous how blunt and honest a child can be. Don’t get me wrong though, their feedback was some of the strongest."

Heagy is a 2014 graduate of the BFA degree program in illustration at PCA&D, a graduate of Warwick High School, and a military veteran.

The mural was painted with the help of Two Dudes Painting Company, The Mix at Arbor Place, Shah Properties, and Hamilton Distributing Company. Funding was provided by Wells Fargo and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. 

By Joshua Graupera, Public Art Advisory Board

Dancing Arches: What's the point?

Just days ago, I oversaw installation of a new public artwork in a small grassy area at the recently renovated Rodney Park. The sculpture is the result of more than a year’s worth of discussion, planning, fundraising, design, and fabrication by the City of Lancaster and its community members, and me, the artist. As you can see from the photo above, the sculpture consists of seventeen steel arches, each with a unique shape and color, each at a unique angle.

At the end of the day the sculpture was installed, a young girl (also seen in the photo) and her friend, who is watching her from the sidewalk, were walking through the park, perhaps on their way home from school.  It had been scarcely two hours since the final arch was set when this unnamed girl, ice cream cone in hand, made a split-second decision to abandon the sidewalk and skip gleefully through the arches, her arms flailing wildly in the air as she danced.

What you can’t see in the photo is was a small group of citizens that had gathered on the sidewalk to express their concerns to a City official. Some wondered what the sculpture was for, how many of their tax dollars it cost and what it was supposed to be, while others were certain that it would be vandalized or destroyed based on other crimes that had taken place here.  I tried to get the group’s attention to point out the girl, but they were deep in discussion and couldn’t hear me. 

Since then I have thought a lot about that day.  The people on the sidewalk seemed to be both haunted by the past and worried about an uncertain future. Their concerns, although understandable and reasonable, seemed to blind them to what was happening just ten feet away.  This girl, unencumbered by anxieties, practicalities, and the need for answers, was completely engaged in the present.  It’s something I aspire to, but rarely achieve. 

I will admit that I was much more inspired by the girl than the concerned citizens, but as the artist, I thought I would the take this opportunity to answer some “frequently asked questions” regarding the sculpture before I relate another interesting story.

What does the sculpture do? Is it a water fountain? Does it have purpose?

The sculpture doesn’t do anything. It is neither a water fountain, cistern, or play structure. It isn’t an educational tool or piece of outdoor furniture.  In fact, the artwork was not designed to serve any practical, utilitarian purpose at all, although it gives Rodney Park an identifiable landmark unique in all of Lancaster, and for that matter, the world. The sculpture is also illuminated nightly, which makes it a beacon.

Why is it called “Dancing Arches”?  Is it some kind of gate?

When I visited Lancaster over a year ago to see Rodney Park and get a feel for the neighborhood and its history, as well as its place in Lancaster, I was struck by the arches I saw everywhere.  Just a few blocks away on Coral Street, as on many other Lancaster streets, narrow arched passages connect the street to the garden between row houses. At Central Market downtown, the brick façade is animated with arches.  Perhaps most famously, the Conestoga wagon, with its distinctive leaning arch frames, was invented here.  Even the meandering Conestoga River, seen from above, creates series of arches.

Arches are universal, built by different cultures throughout history and occurring in the natural environment.  It was apparent to me, even in my brief visits over the last year, that this neighborhood is made up of many cultures and that an artwork could celebrate that diversity through a form that was visually accessible to many.   Dancing Arches frames certain views that continually shift as you move in and around it.  Looking northwest through the sculpture, a family-owned Latin American corner store is prominently featured, but turn slightly to the west, and the arches frame a grouping of doors and windows in a brick building.  The sculpture also aligns with Penn Square downtown, which is apparent by the W.W. Griest Building.  Looking southeast through the arches, the senior center and splash pool-young and old- are brought into a single view.

How much did this cost? Who paid for it? Was it created by a local artist? Does it benefit the local economy?

Dancing Arches cost $50,000. Over $30,000 of that money was donated by individuals and institutions through Kickstarter, an online crowd-funding website, while the balance was paid for by the City of Lancaster. Although benefitting Lancaster’s economic well-being was not its primary intention, the project owes its existence to the expertise of several local businesses.  The sculpture’s steel components were fabricated, finished, and installed by GSM Industrial. Excavation and concrete work were completed by Kline Concrete, located just blocks from the park. Electrical work was completed by Stephen Daniels, a local electrician. Matthew Lester, a local photographer, will document the sculpture.   The sculpture was designed by me, an artist from Minneapolis, MN.  I was selected by an art selection committee who evaluated proposals both local and national.

A few days after Dancing Arches was completed, I visited the park again one afternoon.  A thunderstorm had just passed through, and the sky was clearing.  A middle aged man approached me and struck up a conversation.  Not knowing that I was in any way involved with the sculpture, he told me about his beloved 13-year-old dog.  For years, he had walked her down to Rodney Park daily.  He had recently taken her to the emergency room to be treated for acute hip pain.  She did not survive.  The man, out of work and grieving, received a condolence card from the veterinary hospital several days later.  Inside the card was a poem entitled The Rainbow Bridge.   The poem, he told me, concerns a meadow where pets and owners are eventually reunited in a grassy meadow after death.   A day after receiving this card, this man opened his morning newspaper to see pictures of the newly installed sculpture.  He came to the park, he said, because he felt that this must be the bridge in the poem.  To him, the sculpture will always mark the loss of a beloved companion and a symbol of hope.

Obviously, I could never have imagined that Dancing Arches might take on that meaning to anyone.  In fact, there is no particular meaning that I hoped people might glean out of the sculpture.  The ways that each of us engage with art (or not) depend in large measure on what we bring to it, how open we are to it, and how closely we look at it. 

To the girl with the ice cream cone, it was simple:  Run through them, now! 

To the grieving gentleman, the sculpture provided a gateway to memories.

I’m certain that of the people who stop to look at the sculpture, some will see nothing.  Others will see problems.  Some will be reminded of something else.  Yet others will be inspired.

And I guess that’s the point.

By Randy Walker

Dancing Arches - Public art for the public

Who doesn’t love to dance?  The contemporary American poet, William Stafford, tells us that children dance before “they learn there is anything that isn’t music.” And legend has it that the ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, learned to dance at seventy, because he felt an essential part of him had been neglected.  From our children to our seniors, we all find the shape of spirit and discovery in the art of dance.  

Randy Walker’s Dancing Arches, a planned public art sculpture at the newly renovated Rodney Park-- scheduled for installation in May 2014-- captures that shape of spirit and discovery with a burst of color and form.  The sculpture plan consists of seventeen steel pipes bent at various lengths to create a maze of dancing metal archways.  The archways serve as an entrance to the Southwest corner of the park.  The multi-length arches also offer a varietal splash of unique colors, ranging from Candy Apple Red to Mediterranean Blue.  Viewed at different angles from inside or outside the park, the arches will create a frame and snapshot of neighborhood climate and activity.  And at night, the tubular arches will be illuminated from a foot light, creating a soft, glowing beacon of color.

Mr. Walker chose the concept of dancing arches as an invitation to enter and move through a world of new possibilities.  He notes that archways represent a link with Lancaster’s history and urban fabric. The archway motif can be viewed at the grand brick façade marking the entrance to our historic and nationally acclaimed Central Market.  A string of archways are also present between the narrow passageways of the row homes at the nearby Coral Street.  And, of course, the classic wooden arches from Lancaster’s Conestoga wagons of the 1700s remain a symbol of elegance, originality, and craftsmanship.  In the near future, and as part of an educational outreach program, the artist plans to meet with children at the Lancaster Rec Center to further explain the concepts influencing the sculpture.

Mr. Walker’s new sculpture, along with recent renovations, will celebrate Rodney Park’s renewed vitality.  This half acre park was once covered in asphalt and served as a parking lot for the park’s Senior Center.  A nearby lot and adjacent street parking have been added for the many visitors to the activities at the Senior Center, thereby allowing renovations to replace the asphalt with large grass areas and permeable walkways and play areas.  These changes will reduce stormwater runoff, which is in line with the City’s Green Infrastructure Plan.  An outdated pool has been replaced with a colorful water spray pool—located directly behind the Dancing Arches sculpture.  The spray pool and new play area were a big hit with the kids last summer.  Smiles and laughter everywhere.

The process for selecting Dances Arches began when sixty-seven artists sent qualification proposals to a five-member project planning committee.  The committee was selected by the Public Art Advisory Board.  The committee narrowed the artists’ proposals down to two.  From there, a neighborhood meeting was held to showcase the two proposals. Then the proposals were posted on social media for the public to further comment on their preference.  Randy Walker’s Dancing Arches was then selected for its public support, artistic quality, vision and durability.

Funding the project again involved public support.  The City, via the taxpayers, posted half of the funding ($25,000) from prior Capital bonds.  The rest of the costs were covered by donors who went to the online Kickstarter site to pledge their support.  At first, raising the necessary funds from Kickstarter seemed unrealistic, but as the deadline approach, public donors rallied.  Through an overwhelming and heartwarming show of support, the fundraising effort actually raised several thousand dollars more than the required sum.  This extra sum will lighten the total needed from municipal bonds.

The final step in the process is the installation of the sculpture.  Again, that is set for this May.  I don’t know about you, but after a long and recurring winter, won’t it be refreshing to spend a huge chunk of time outdoors this Spring? Exploring the new season. A long walk.  A leisure drive.  And if you’re a child, a teen, an adult, or a senior, and you’re in the mood for exploration, why not stop by Lancaster’s Rodney Park to check out Randy Walker’s Dancing Arches.  It’s public art selected by the public, paid for by the public, and to be enjoyed by the public.  Public art for the public.  Anyone wanna dance?

By Tim Roschel, Public Art Advisory Board

Artistic Innovation: Lancaster Gateway Bundle

It’s amazing what a simple paper placemat and some crayons can do for you.

In the case of the new Lancaster Brewing Company’s kids’ activity sheets—it gave my kids an opportunity to draw while learning about keeping our city clean; inspired a discussion on the role of functional art with my husband; and instilled a good dollop of civic pride — all while relaxing over a cold beer. Who knew?!

Earlier this year, on a busy Friday evening, my family and I journeyed to the Lancaster Brewing Company to check out the newly installed public artwork, the Lancaster Gateway Bundle.

The Gateway Bundle functions not only as a piece of public art, but also as a key piece of Lancaster’s Green Infrastructure plan—a plan developed to help prevent polluted stormwater runoff from flowing into our regions’ waterways. The cistern inside the bundle collects the water that flows from the Lancaster Brewing Company’s roof—water that would otherwise flow into the Susquehanna River and all the way to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Bundle serves as a striking example of our city’s creative and communal approach to problem solving: by combining public art with environmental initiatives, the project’s collaborators (The City of Lancaster, the Public Art Advisory Board, The Lancaster Brewing Company, Austin + Mergold and GSM Industrial) have beautified an intersection, spurred economic development, and created a shining gateway into our city—one that leads the region in environmental and artistic innovation.

While many are aware of Lancaster’s burgeoning reputation as an arts destination, few may know of the equally impressive reputation that our city garners in the world of green infrastructure and stormwater management. In fact, the EPA recently used the City of Lancaster as a case study to examine the economic benefits of using green infrastructure for controlling the problem of stormwater runoff. The study concludes that Lancaster is leading the way in creating cost-effective and innovative solutions to the stormwater challenges we face today.

How has Lancaster done it? By thinking outside the box of traditional mitigation solutions. There are so many great people in Lancaster who understand that solving problems like stormwater pollution isn’t just about pipes, roofs, and gardens: it’s about community engagement, improving our parks, and making the city a happier, more beautiful place to be. To this end, the City of Lancaster has integrated public art, community engagement, and education into many of its Green Infrastructure projects. A practice that is gaining recognition all around the region, good politics can make for good art and good art for good politics.

The Gateway Bundle is exemplary on this front.  As is the futuristic “Revolutions” of Brandon Park’s interactive lighting. Powered by solar panels, the artwork shines over the newly renovated park, complete with basketball courts made of porous pavement. And Crystal Park’s “Changing Gears” which uses LED lights to show visitors how much water is being collected in the park’s underground rainwater-field well.  

Community engagement and education is vital for each of the city’s Public Art Projects. For the Gateway Bundle, our planning committee worked with the Lancaster Brewing Company, the City, and with advice from the Urban Greening arm of the Lancaster County Conservancy to create an activity placemat for the Brewing Company’s visitors. The placemat teaches kids (and parents) about problem of stormwater, the function of the Gateway Bundle, and gives young ones a chance to design their own cistern.

After admiring the sculpture that busy Friday evening with my family, my husband and I drank our beer while our two boys quietly (a miracle!) decorated their own cisterns on the placemat. They quizzed us on how we could build a creative barrel in other places—our house? their schools?—to collect more polluted stormwater.

I was reminded of what the Mayor likes to point out about our City: In Lancaster “We are creating a feeling of pride and accomplishment among its citizens and leaving a legacy for future generations.”

I walked outside the other day, when the sun was out and the piles of snow were quickly melting. I found my children out frantically collecting water from the sidewalk curb with buckets and pouring it over the plants in front of our house. What are you doing?!? I yelled out. “We’re saving the water from the storm drains, Mom”. They proudly replied. “Just like the people who made that cool cistern.

By Libby Modern, Public Art Advisory Board

About the Artist - Lyman Whitaker

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Lyman Whitaker

Lyman has been a practicing sculptor for over fifty years, with a unique knowledge of materials and their application. The past three decades have primarily been focused on creating Wind Sculptures. Because the Wind Sculptures are innovative and artistic and have a high degree of mechanical integrity, they are well respected for quality craftsmanship.

Lyman graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from the University of Utah. There he studied under Avard Fairbanks and Angelo Carvaglia, learning classical sculpture techniques as well as contemporary design. Lyman resides with his wife Stacy and their youngest of two children in Southwest Utah. He loves the desert’s solitude and the intensity of the climate.

The receptivity to his work has allowed Lyman to create a wonderful studio where he works with Stacy and his brother, John Whitaker. Together they have created a productive network. When Lyman is not working at his studio he enjoys the solitude of nature at his off-grid yurt in a remote desert area. He has a daily practice of yoga and meditation and enjoys spending time with his family, friends and dog “Roper”.

Lyman’s sculptures have an organic and mystical theme, as does his current philosophy. Concerned about the sustainability of our culture’s present systems, Lyman’s fondest dream is to have his artwork symbolize a move toward better solutions in our relationship with the environment.

“I care deeply about our ecosystem and the world’s societal impact on it. As an artist, I can express my concern for the survival of our planet through a creative medium. The Wind Sculptures, my current work, offer a comforting release from our fast-paced lives with their calm serenity and playfulness. By organically placing the sculptures in settings dependent on natural elements for movement, the sculptures rise out of the ground to symbolize creative energy, and the kinetic elements, new opportunities. I hope that my sculptures will generate a sense of interest and delight shared and enjoyed by a broad array of people.”


Molecular Cell Essentials/Life Technologies Interview            2-14-2013

Art and science.  What does that mean to you?

Art and science were once together, and I believe they long to be together again. Science grew out of art and they both come from the same part of the brain.  That is the creative part, the part that looks ahead to the future to see if it can imagine what has not yet been thought of.  They both seek reality in different realms and there is little need for conflict.

Science and art are they complementary or contradictory?

They are probably both. Which is a contradiction in itself but that seems to be the nature of truth…. it is often paradoxical.  The idea of complementary opposites may help to explain the contradiction.  Art and science are complementary where they're complementary and they are contradictory when they are contradictory.

Do you find that science narrows one focus and art opens one's imagination or vice versa or something totally different tell us why you feel that?

Both.  Open imagination and narrow focus are both critical for art as well as science.  An open imagination opens the way or the territory for things to happen and a narrow focus allows you to negotiate that territory.  The territory of art is different from the territory of science but they both use the same process.

When working in both worlds do you feel that one discipline alters the perception or thinking off the other?

I think that imagination is more prevalent in art, and narrow focus is more dominant in science.  I would imagine that a scientist working in art might stimulate his imagination, which would lead him/her to focus on new things in science. On the other hand an artist working in science would gain the focused discipline to carry out an artistic project.

Sculpture of the Rockies Interview 8-14-2009  


What inspired this sculpture? What is the personal story behind this piece?

The wind is mysterious, exciting and dangerous—and as I child I loved it! 
As an artist the love for this mysterious force inspired me to translate the invisible moving air into visual abstract shapes. I feel I am in a partnership with the wind.  It suggests which forms will work, and I do the work to translate the suggestions into a moving sculpture. It is my hope that the visual will reflect, on some level, the air as it relates to breath, wind and climate.

What prep work and techniques went into it? Why were these techniques chosen, and why were they crucial to the process of creating a successful finished piece?

For me a kinetic sculpture needs to be responsive to the most gentle breeze yet be able to withstand strong winds. Balance and bearings are the answer to the first need and the second need is answered in the way in which I fabricate the piece to give it strength. These elements are important so that the wind will propel my sculptures in a balanced fashion, which makes them responsive yet under control. The materials chosen are copper, for its malleability and color,
and stainless steel for its strength. Both these materials do well outside in the elements.

What was your greatest challenge in creating this piece, and how did you overcome it?

In my first attempt to create a wind piece, I avoided symmetry because I thought it would be more interesting asymmetrical. It proved to be complicated and not that appealing. I simplified my idea and used a turning spindle with abstract shapes on it, which I hoped would form a dynamic changing composition.  Once I began simplifying my idea the forms quickly arranged themselves into a simple elegant double helix strand. I picked the simplest approach and the result was a much more appealing and elegant effect.

What is your favorite part of this piece and why? Or what do you like most about it?

I like the way that my individual sculptures respond to the currents of the wind.  When grouped, the pieces move in their own unique way, creating an interesting group dynamic.  The wind is composed of small intricate currents.  These currents act on the individual sculptures to give them a unique tempo and working together, they create visual music.  These tempos are never repeated and the motion of the group is always new.

Why do you consider this one of your most significant works? How does it relate to, and differ from, all others you’ve done?

By the age of 50 I had been working with art for more than 30 odd years.  I experimented with ideas, tools and materials.  With persistence I experienced some success but not enough to support me.  My wind sculptures allowed my mechanical and artistic interests to come together in a shared and balanced way answering a prayer I made many years ago that I might make something beautiful.  Wind driven pieces allowed me to enter the universe of moving forms.  While most of my earlier work hinted at motion, it has been a pleasure to get involved in tangible motion. 

Did this sculpture turn out the way you had envisioned, or did it take some unpredicted yet pleasant turns? Did your vision change midway through the sculpting experience, or were you unexpectedly surprised with the end result?

The process of NOT envisioning where I am going with a sculpture as I am working allows me to proceed in a more natural way. By letting my tools, materials, and processes guide me, I can seize opportunities along the way, which allows the piece to establish its own direction. I look at building a sculpture as a collaboration of my tools, my materials, and myself.

What does this sculpture mean to you personally? Does it reflect or express something important in your life?

These sculptures are all about air. Air is the one thing we all share intimately.  My pieces are largely designed by air, moved by air, and express the moods of the ever-changing winds. Air is the key component of climate. The pieces remind me that air is ever changing, as is climate.

What do you feel (or hope) it says to the viewer? Are there any particular emotions you wish the sculpture to convey?

My hope is that the rhythm of these evolving shapes will have a calming and mesmerizing effect on the viewer.  I also hope that my art will act as a medium for the most primal of natural forces—the wind—and thereby create a harmony between the viewer and the natural world they are a part of.  I realize that is asking a lot of a piece, and I hope that it works that way for some.


In what part of the Rocky Mountain region do you live, and how long have you been a resident there? If you relocated to the region, what, as an artist and a human being, drew you to it? If you’ve lived here all of your life, what do you most appreciate about your surroundings?

I live on the western edge of the Colorado Plateau.  My home is in Springdale, located at the mouth of Zion National Park in Southwestern Utah.  I moved from Salt Lake in the mid 1980’s.  As an artist I was drawn to the stark raw geological beauty of the desert of Southern Utah.  My body was drawn to the warmer winters.  I love my desert environment; it allows me the freedom to escape into solitude quickly and easily while rewarding me with sometimes subtle and often dramatic shapes and colors.

How long have you been sculpting and how did you get started?

I introduced myself to the world of sculpting at the age of 19.  As a prank I carved a small bust in sandstone and buried it in a trench, which I was digging with a fellow worker.  After lunch he dug it up and thought he had found an artifact.  I so enjoyed the process of carving that I registered for a class in sculpture at the University of Utah in the fall as I entered my first year of college.  I started out doing classical sculpture in clay, plaster, stone and bronze but gradually was drawn to abstract forms and then to my present kinetic work.

Did you try other mediums (such as painting or drawing) before concluding that you wanted to be a sculptor? If so, what made sculpting stand out from the other mediums in your experience?

I started out in sculpture and have never experienced painting and drawing except through entertaining my children with paintbrushes and pencils.  Any painting and drawing I have done is in support of my sculpture. 

How have you grown or progressed as an artist over the years? For example, has sculpting changed the way you view the world at large?

If one were to follow my art career it would be full of twists and turns and dead ends with little or no consistency except for the unavoidable mark of style. While my art has not been sequential it has constant force in my life. I feel I have developed and come together in a complete way. I am still faced with the challenge of expressing new ideas as I evolve. Sculpture affects the way I view the world, but more pronounced is the way the world affects the way I view sculpture.

With what materials do you typically work, and what drew you to them? Do you feel they help communicate your message?

Metal has been the material of choice for my current body of work.  Copper is the dominant metal for me. Copper is a gummy metal and doesn’t like to be machined but it responds nicely to forming by hand—hammering, rolling, etc. It is a noble metal but not too pretentious. It weathers well and takes on a range of natural colors. Stainless steel works well where strength is needed and offers bright contrast to the copper. The wind sculptures are composed of natural, mostly floral shapes. Copper’s natural hues of browns and greens harmonize with the floral landscape. 

What, in general, inspires you to create?

I don’t work so much from inspiration as I do from a desire and interest to combine materials in a meaningful and interesting way. My source of shapes, forms and motion comes mostly from the natural world, but since I consider everything natural, man-made things may find their way into my work as well.

Educating local students through Changing Gears

One of the goals of the City of Lancaster's Public Art Program and Public Art Advisory Board is to seek and develop collaborative opportunities for artists to work with the community and to seek an educational component for every project.

Recently, artists Ulrich Pakker and his wife, Pamela installed one of the city's newest pieces of public art located in Crystal Park titled, "Changing Gears." During their visit they met with students in the after school programs at Buchanan, Lafayette and Fulton elementary schools.

To prepare for the Pakker's visit, Public Art Manager, Tracy Beyl, made several visits to each school to share images of Ulrich's past work as well as the model and drawings for "Changing Gears”. Tracy explained how Ulrich met with everyone on the project planning committee, as well as people who lived in the neighborhood, to learn more about the park and neighborhood so he could develop an idea that really reflected the community. Tracy also talked about public art and how it can be something functional like a bike rack, bench, or lighting; or it could be something like a monument, fountain, or mural.

The students were then instructed to create their own sculptures using K'NEX. This was a great medium of choice as the students already loved playing with them and they have a lot of cool gear shapes, just like Ulrich's sculpture!

This wasn't the Public Art Program's first time interacting with the city's after school program. Earlier in the year the after school program had a great experience on a field trip to Brandon Park to learn about the sculpture, "Revolutions." The students and city were reunited again with the help of Lucy Zimmerman, Director of Children's Services at the Lancaster REC who was a part of the project planning committee for "Changing Gears." Lucy connected the city with Buchanan, Lafayette and Fulton after school programs because students at these schools are the closest to Crystal Park.

Ulrich and Pamela visited each school bringing along not only pictures of "Changing Gears" but also other sculptures Ulrich created. They also brought along the "Changing Gears" model to explain the project and how the model helps the artist to work out the size of each sculptural component and their positioning. Student's also learned about "Changing Gears" LED-lit fountain that uses water drawn from an underground rainwater-fueled well and how this will help with storm water collection.

The students loved creating and naming their sculptures with guidance and encouragement from their teachers. They were so excited to meet Ulrich and to show him their creations! "It was a great interaction with a part of the Lancaster community." said Ulrich. "You never know when a young person may decide to be an artist and it's always exciting to hear their responses and questions."

They were also really excited for their parents to hear about the project and see the sculptures they had been working on. One boy was particularly excited once he realized that the park where the sculpture was being installed was right next to his dad's tattoo shop. The next day his dad went down to the park to introduced himself to Ulrich and Pamela and share his son's experience.

Have you visited "Changing Gears?" Has it inspired you to create your own sculpture or use it as a focus in your classroom? If you have, share it with us on the LancasterArts Facebook page! We want to see how Lancaster's public art educates and inspires you.

By Natalie Lascek-Speakman, Public Art Advisory Board

Bill Bard - still Changing Gears after all these years

Long-time City resident Bill Bard was born in a house on New Dorwart Street over 90 years ago. He has many fond memories of growing up in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood.

He sent Tracy Beyl, public art manager, the following poem about Changing Gears, the new public art piece in Crystal Park:

Changing Gears Sculpture in Crystal Park
Fine Art to Behold
Accolades, Artist Ulrich Pakker
Crystal, Rodney Parks
Your Dream has come true
Changing Gears is what we do
As we travel life’s highway
Childhood to final Journey
New adventure everyday
Children always high gear
So full of energy, frisky
Their play is a pleasure to see
Then in our middle years
Earn a living, raise a family
Always in overdrive
Best, most productive, all our days
Then as the hourglass empties
We are in low gears
It has been a great Adventure
Most delightful years
When a child, lived a block away
Parks were my retreat
The wading pool, open space
My little friends meet
Thank you for your contribution
Fine Artwork to behold
In the City of Lancaster
Changing Gears, Sculpture Bold
Man does not live by bread alone
All art, music pleases me
Panacea for the soul
Most pleasurable as can be

Poem written by William Cliff Bard, Age 90

We're glad to see that the new piece is making an impact on residents of the past and present alike. Enjoy!

Lancaster Gateway Bundle

On Friday, October 31 the Lancaster Gateway Bundle was installed at Lancaster Brewing Company. Part green infrastructure project, part public art piece, the new addition to the Lancaster Brewing Company will greet those coming into the City via the Walnut & Plum Street intersection. Read on for a message from one of the artists. 

Dear All,

As I stood and looked at the sculpture yesterday, after the installers had left, I realized that what I was looking at was something truly special.  It's hard to put into words the feeling of looking at something that you have brought into the world, but what now sits outside the Lancaster Brewing Company is not the product of individual expertise, but of a very real form of collaboration.  The sheer number of people involved in this work, especially for such a small project, is astounding.  To think that we not only accomplished what we set out to do, but executed it to the fullest degree, is something we should all be proud of.

To do a project that was not only environmentally responsible, but also contributed to a business and a community is a special feeling.  Being able to work on this project with so many people was also a great learning experience.  I feel that we have given something to the city and to the brewery that they will both find useful and enjoy for years to come.  This is important as we can begin to reflect on our work and understand its continuing role in the city and its ever more sustainable infrastructure.

I would like to thank everyone, on behalf of A+M, for helping to make this project a reality.  I'm looking forward to reconvening again, Lancaster-brewed beers in hand, to commemorate this achievement.


Marc Lewis Krawitz
Austin + Mergold LLC

Using Creativity to Fund Public Art

The City has launched its first ever Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the Dancing Arches sculpture at Rodney Park. The clock is ticking and our Kickstarter project only has a few days left to raise the money. To keep the money that has been pledged, we have to meet our goal of $27,000 by the deadline of August 30, 2013.

My excitement for this project began this past January, my first week on the job as public art manager. One of my first tasks was touring all of the city parks. Renovation was complete on Brandon Park and the Revolutions sculpture was scheduled to install in February. Crystal and Rodney Parks were up next on the list of parks to be renovated. My first visit to Rodney Park confirmed that I had made the right decision taking this new job. I’ve worked in the City for 18 years but had never been to this little park tucked away in the Cabbage Hill neighborhood. There was no color in the park except for the gloomy grey of cracked asphalt – a depressing site for all the quaint little row houses that surround the park. There was no doubt that renovating the park and installing a beautiful piece of public art was a worthwhile project and I wanted to be a part of it.

We launched the Kickstarter campaign and had an initial flurry of donations. As the days ticked away, I wanted to find a fun way to draw attention to the campaign and find additional supporters.  An idea came to me to combine my love of yoga with social media. So on the morning of August 8th I challenged my Facebook friends to contribute in exchange for giving each of them a personal headstand. I literally spent half the day on my head. You can check out my upside down adventures on Ken Mueller’s Inkling Media blog post 5 tips on Using Your Head to Turn Your Marketing Upside Down. By the end of the day I felt completely connected to the community. Social media allowed me to create a fun and inspiring dialog with friends, coworkers, and acquaintances. As I walked to my car, exhausted from my inverted day, people were calling to me from across the street and telling me that they loved my headstands.

So here we are now – we have a project planning committee, community support for the project, the art and artist selected, the park renovations are complete and the site is ready and waiting.

It’s not too late to check out the Kickstarter page and consider making a donation. We have great prizes available: from your own private party at the park to a ride on the Mayor’s motorcycle.  We hope you will visit our site and consider joining our campaign.

By Tracy Beyl, Public Art Manager