Convergence selected as Promenade Park entry sculpture

August 10th, 2017

The News-Sentinel

The proposed sculpture Convergence has been selected as the major visual anchor that will welcome people to the planned Promenade Park on Fort Wayne's downtown riverfront.

The committee tasked with selecting a major sculpture for the entrance to Promenade Park was to announce its unanimous recommendation during the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department's board of park commissioners meeting Thursday morning at Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St. The large, contemporary work, which suggests the flow of three rivers coming together, is scheduled to be installed next June.

Five nationally known artists were invited to submit sculpture proposals for the Promenade Park entrance. Park construction is scheduled to start in the next few weeks.

“The sculptures were evaluated based on characteristics such as artistic and aesthetic quality, durability, sustainability, uniqueness, and its representation of diverse cultures and styles,” Ruth Stone, Riverfront Sculpture Selection Committee chair, said in an announcement. “While all five of the submissions were excellent in their own way, Convergence stood out by truly embodying the original vision the committee had for an iconic sculpture to represent our city."

Convergence was proposed by artist Linda Howard of Bradenton, Fla., who has crafted sculptures for installation at locations in 18 U.S. states and in Australia.

“I’m honored to have been selected for such a prestigious project,” Howard, who is originally from Evanston, Ill., near Chicago, said in the announcement about the sculpture selection. “Convergence is an uplifting sculpture. I anticipate many hours of delight as I create this unifying sculpture. And I look forward to seeing the positive reactions from park visitors when the sculpture is installed next year.”

Fort Wayne park commissioners were scheduled to vote during their meeting Thursday on approving a contract with Howard to create the sculpture.

Convergence will weigh about 2,400 pounds and stand about 19 feet high, 28 feet wide and 28 feet deep, the parks department announcement said.

A description of the sculpture said people walking around the piece will never see the same view twice as the light and shadows change constantly. Its shape reportedly mirrors the rhythm of the rivers' water, as well as creating the feeling of a crossroad and unifying force. People also will find the sculpture provides a space for contemplation, solitude and peace, the parks department said.

The $150,000 available to pay for the sculpture and its installation comes from a $100,000 donation from the Waterfield Foundation, via Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, and a $50,000 matching grant from Lilly Endowment, the parks department announced previously.

The parks department worked with Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne to set up an unbiased sculpture selection process and to make sure the selected piece represents the city's three rivers and the growing vibrancy downtown, the announcement said. The volunteer selection committee assembled by Arts United included local art experts and community members.

Stone, an Arts United board member and former manager for IPFW's Sculpture with Purpose project, and Alec Johnson, Fort Wayne Parks' landscape architect, served as leaders of the selection committee, the announcement said. The committee also received advisory support from Fort Wayne park commissioners, Arts United, Riverfront Fort Wayne, Strebig Construction and the city of Fort Wayne.

“We were pleased to partner with Arts United and such a diverse selection committee to ensure that the sculpture chosen would be a piece the community would be proud of, and it was reassuring that Convergence was chosen unanimously with so many stellar proposals,” Fort Wayne Parks Director Al Moll said in the announcement. “It’s exciting to envision the many families who will gather in front of this towering masterpiece for a photo they’ll cherish forever.”

Categories Quality of Life