Last week, we took in Jeffrey Bohl’s Wisdom of Our Ancestry, a delicate poured bronze sculpture on display in the front window of Artventures on Main Street in downtown Brighton.
On our agenda this week: Elegant Lady, a 26" x 11" x 6" bust that marks the entrance to Brighton City Hall. Though the bust seems to have been left unfinished from the neck down, the apparent heft and durability give the woman represented in the piece an air of quiet strength.
Sculpted from a composite material and finished to look like bronze, Elegant Lady was tricky to install. Brighton’s former building official, Jim Rowell, created a custom mounting device to help place the sculpture atop a concrete pedestal.
The sculpture’s artist, Kegham Tazian, who has taught art classes at Oakland Community College since 1967, said he has noticed a renewed interest in public art, especially outdoor art, in recent years.
Though he is likely to profit from the public’s new awareness of art’s importance, Tazian’s belief in public art is based on more than the prospect of monetary gain.
“What makes it [public art] significant is that art is to be seen, to convey emotion, to be reflective of its environment, to elevate artistic expression, and to be a discussion point for its place in society—whether positively or negatively,” Tazian said. “Finally, outdoor art becomes the equivalent of a gallery that is continually open for business.”
Elegant Lady was installed in the summer of 2010 and will be on display until 2012. It can be purchased for $8,800. Tazian has two additional pieces—Play, Play, Play ($5,700) and Collaborative Transformation ($16,000)—on display in the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit.
The Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, which is overseen by the City of Brighton Arts and Culture Commission, originated in 2006. It consists of 35 sculptures, twelve permanent and twenty-three temporary. The permanent pieces were either bought by or donated to the city. The temporary pieces, whose duration in Brighton depend on individual contracts with the BACC, are for sale. Prices and details are available at http://www.downtownbrighton.com/1/brighton/art_walk.asp