Broad Reach sculp­ture ded­i­cated to Alex Cas­tro

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By LEANN SCHENKE lschenke@thekent­coun­tynews.com

CH­ESTER­TOWN — Af­ter five years of plan­ning and fund­ing rais­ing, the Broad Reach sculp­ture and playscape is in place and was ded­i­cated to Alex Cas­tro Saturday for his work within the com­mu­nity.

“This imag­i­na­tive steel struc­ture is al­ready do­ing what great art does. It is spark­ing con­ver­sa­tions, get­ting a gam­bit of re­ac­tions,” said Kay MacIn­tosh, eco­nomic devel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor for Ch­ester­town, at the cer­e­mony Saturday.

The large sculp­ture, which is lo­cated in Wilmer park, re­sem­bles a sail and a wave. It was de­signed and sculpted by David Hess.

Cas­tro was the di­rec­tor of Wash­ing­ton Col­lege’s Sand­box Ini­tia­tive and worked on pub­lic arts projects in Ch­ester­town. He could not be in at­ten­dance at the cer­e­mony but recorded a mes­sage to at­ten­dees from his new home in Florida.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, MacIn­tosh and Carla Mas­soni, of Mas­soniArt, thanked spon­sors and donors for their help in see­ing the project come to fruition. Mered­ith Had­away read her poem “Why the River.”

Hess thanked the town for be­ing wel­com­ing to him and his fam­ily as they in­stalled the sculp­ture.

The sculp­ture is the first in­stal­la­tion in Ch­ester­town’s Pub­lic Arts Mas­ter Plan, MacIn­tosh said, and is the first piece of pub­lic art in­stalled in Ch­ester­town since 1899. The last was the foun­tain in Foun­tain Park.

Ty­ing Ch­ester­town’s two pub­lic art in­stall­ments to­gether, Melissa McG­lynn dressed as Hebe, the Greek god­dess who is at the top of the foun­tain, and John Schratwieser, co-di­rec­tor the Kent County Arts Coun­cil, blessed the sculp­ture with Ch­ester River wa­ter.

“It’s go­ing to be re­ally fas­ci­nat­ing to watch this, but at the very least I think it ab­so­lutely, tremen­dously en­hances this spot. It’s a great me­mento to Alex Cas­tro and it cer­tainly is go­ing to spur on a larger con­ver­sa­tion,” Ch­ester­town Mayor Chris Cerino said.

The sculp­ture was in­stalled last week by Yerkes Con­struc­tion and sod was put down by An­thony’s Flow­ers and Land­scap­ing. MacIn­tosh said that though the sculp­ture is in place, peo­ple will not be al­lowed to walk on it un­til a few weeks when the grass’s roots have taken hold.

“Its been a long process,” Zon­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tor for the Town of Ch­ester­town Kees de Mooy said.

He said Ch­ester­town did not have a play­ground when the project was con­ceived, so the sculp­ture was meant to solve that prob­lem.

He said some fund­ing for the project came from a grant from the Na­tional En­dow­ment for the Arts.

Ch­ester­town is one of two com­mu­ni­ties in Mary­land that got an Our Town grant, de Mooy said. He said he thinks one of the main rea­sons the town got the grant was through Cas­tro’s in­volve­ment in the Sand­box pro­gram, which mixed art and the en­vi­ron­ment.

Mas­soni said get­ting the project to fruition took time be­cause of ac­quir­ing fund­ing and all the other projects hap­pen­ing in town.

She said while nearly 50 per­cent of the funds of the sculp­ture came from Cas­tro’s friends, it was the do­na­tions from lo­cal peo­ple that brought the fundrais­ing ef­fort to an end.

“The one that took us all over the top and was the most fun part of this fundrais­ing was when the Ch­ester­town High School Class of 1967 de­cided to make this the big gift,” Mas­soni said.

A few mem­bers of the Class of 1967 were in at­ten­dance at the ded­i­ca­tion.

Mas­soni said the sculp­ture will be a great way to re­mem­ber all the con­tri­bu­tions and the legacy Cas­tro left in Ch­ester­town.

“I think I can say what we all know. They will be missed and they will not be for­got­ten,” Mas­soni said.

PHOTO BY LEANN SCHENKE

Artist David Hess, right, speaks on the devel­op­ment of his Broad Reach sculp­ture dur­ing the ded­i­ca­tion Saturday at Wilmer Park. Also pic­tured is Kay MacIn­tosh, eco­nomic devel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor for the Ch­ester­town.

PHOTO BY LEANN SCHENKE

Ch­ester­town Mayor Chris Cerino speaks on the con­ver­sa­tions the newly in­stalled Broad Reach sculp­ture will start in the com­mu­nity.

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