new house to gain $450,000 in artistic touches
From: The Toledo Blade, October 23, 2001, Section A, Pg. 1
By: Rebekah Scott
artwork is coming to the new Mud Hens stadium in downtown Toledo,
art that looks back on the rosecolored past.
little bronze boys in old time baseball uniforms, barefoot children
sneaking peeks through the outfield fence, vendors hawking produce
from horse-drawn carts.
really didn't have to do public art, but I thought we just had to,"
said Sandy Isenberg, president of the Lucus County commissioners.
"It adds so much."
Isenberg and a crowd of contractors, commissioners and art volunteers
sacrificed their hairdos to hard hats yesterday at a partially built
Fifth Third Field. They looked over the mock-ups of five public
artworks - about $450,000 worth - recently commissioned to "lift
the spirits of the fans" who go to Mud Hens games, starting
in April. "This will be the most comprehensive art collection
of any minor-league ball field in America," said Susan Reams,
head of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo Art in Public Places
Green sculptor Emanuel Enriquez will cast The Knothole Gang in bronze
and place it on the brick sidewalk outside the St. Clair Street
wall for $80,000. It comprised four life-sized children peeping
through a plank fence to see who's at bat. A real-life "Knot-hole
Gang" once frequented Swayne Field, the Hen's one-time home,
Mrs. Reams explained.
will be other knot-holes in the (sculpted) fence too, so we can
have a peek," said arts commission presenter Margy Trumbull.
prefer it if you'd buy a ticket," Mrs. Isenburg shot back.
"You watch. You pay."
art is not what you'd expect," said Joe Napoli, Mud Hens general
manager. "a stadium typically has monuments and statues of
(professional) ball players. "We're doing something different.
We have some wonderful pieces of art, but not a single ballplayer.
was almost right.
Got It! , the "centerpiece" sculpture, will be produced
by Frank Gaylord of Barre, Vt. , the artist who fashioned the Korean
War Memorial in Washington. The sculpture features three life-size
boys in old-time uniforms leaping to catch a fly ball. The boys
will look down Superior Street except during games, when their special
turntable will rotate them to face the left-field foul line. The
$120,000 cost of this "signature work" will be covered
by Dave, Jim and Tim White whose father once owned the Dave White
Chevrolets, a semipro baseball team in Toledo.
painter Leslie Adams was hired to paint a 84 ft. mural on the outside
facing Washington Street, a realistic "fool the eye" view
of the Superior Street produce market as it appeared on that very
spot in about 1892. Bowling Green State University Students will
help with execution. It will cost $90,000.
stadium's main entry gates featuring 18 ft. wooden ball bats and
steel catcher's mitts will be forged by John Rogers of Portland,
Ore. at a cost of $150,000. The gates should be installed at the
corner of Huron and Washington streets by April 9, the opening day.
30 baseball-themed manhole covers will be produced by North Carolina
artist Jim Gallucci at a cost of $30,000 to $35,000. Similar covers
were hits in Seattle and London, Mrs. Reams said.
18 person review board from the arts commission shifted though 40
submissions to chose works to appear along the sidewalks, fences,
and walls of the field. Heather Rohrs, directors of the arts commission,
said she hopes private donations and the proceeds of a planned $175-per
plate gala will pay most of the cost: $54,000 will be offset by
the city's "One Percent for Arts" fund.