Exploring Brighton’s Sculpture: Bob and Spiral

Patch continues its tour of Brighton’s art with sculpture by Chido Johnson and Maureen Voorheis.

In December 2010, Patch embarked on a tour of Brighton’s public art. Since then, we’ve covered all but two of the works in the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit. Those two pieces—Chido Johnson’s Bob and Maureen Voorheis’s Spiral—are our focus this week.

Although each sculpture represents a unique aesthetic, both pieces have the distinction of welcoming residents and visitors to downtown Brighton.


Located near the northeast corner of Grand River Avenue and Main Street, Bob is likely to be seen by anyone who enters downtown from the east, particularly the Spencer Road exit of US-23.

Its position at one the busiest intersection in town is no accident. According to Lauri French, Brighton’s Community Development Administrative Assistant, Bob was specifically chosen to represent the city’s commitment to public art.

The cartoonish piece features an outsized head balanced on a concrete pedestal. Grinning and wide-eyed, the bald figure is representative of a human male. Like much of Chido Johnson’s work, the sculpture seems to comment on identity issues.

One of the permanent pieces in the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit, Bob was purchased with donations to the city. Its original asking price was $4,800.


Installed outside on Grand River Avenue, Spiral marks another entrance to downtown Brighton. Like Bob, Spiral was specifically chosen for its current location. In fact, the artist, Maureen Voorheis, designed the sculpture with that particular spot in mind.

“Spiral was designed specifically for its present site,” Voorheis said. “It draws public attention to the diverse aspects of sculpture and the resulting different interpretations.”

Regardless of its position, Spiral is likely to draw attention. Created from rolled and welded steel, the bright red sculpture stands several feet high. Part of Voorheis’s Infinity Series, Spiral was inspired by organic forms and was created to invoke a sense of rhythm and movement.

Voorheis credits the sculptures success in part to Jim Ignash, who fabricated the sculpture from Voorheis’s 6-inch prototype.  

A temporary Brighton Biennial work, Spiral is currently listed at $2,450.

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, 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 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.


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