Last week, on our tour of Brighton’s public art, we paused on the grounds of City Hall to view Dancer Two, a work by Southfield-based sculptor John Piet.
This week, we’re stopping outside Lynn’s Café for a look at The Bird, a sculpture created by architect and Brighton resident Piet Lindhout.
Lindhout, who helped choose the locations for the Brighton Biennial sculptures, has one other piece on display in the exhibit. He donated Hot Landing, a three-piece steel sculpture that hovers above Mill Pond, to the city in 2009.
The Bird was installed in Brighton in 2006 as part of the original Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit. True to its title, the sheet metal sculpture features a simple geometric bird. A slightly curved, elongated pedestal holds the bird aloft. When the wind blows, the bird pivots on its perch.
Soon after its installation, The Bird caught the eye of Brighton youth Austin Smith. After viewing the Brighton Biennial display, Smith, who is autistic, attended City Council meeting with his parents and doctor. At the meeting, Smith’s mother expressed her appreciation for the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, saying that the art, especially The Bird, helped her son to open up and talk to people.
In 2009, the Brighton Arts and Culture Commission purchased The Bird for $4,000 using donations raised in Austin Smith’s honor.
Blogging on the Michigan Municipal League website, former mayor Kate Lawrence wrote, “When you sit back and analyze the positive impact this project has created, it helps you realize that it is well worth the time and effort.”
The Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, a project overseen by the City of Brighton Arts and Culture Commission, originated in 2006. It consists of 35 sculptures, 12 permanent and 23 temporary. The permanent pieces were either bought by or donated to the city. The temporary pieces, whose duration in Brighton depends on individual contracts with the BACC, are for sale. Prices and details are available at http://www.downtownbrighton.com/1/brighton/art_walk.asp.