Hamilton officially accepts gifts of 11 more sculptures

Butler County’s City of Sculpture officially became a city of even more sculptures last month.

Hamilton City Council unanimously voted to accept 11 more sculptures from City of Sculpture Inc., the organization that accepts statures and other artworks from the general public and maintains them, even after they move into the possession of city government.

The city in 2007 entered an agreement with the organization, under which City of Sculpture turns over ownership of sculptures to the city. Under that pact, the city agreed to notify the organization beforehand of any plans to move or modify the sculptures, and the organization is given the right to help make appropriate decisions in such matters.

Meanwhile, the organization maintains the artwork, such as by cleaning and waxing, and is to help deal with companies, such as contractors or insurance carriers, if a sculpture is damaged or vandalized.

“We were not actually aware we had gotten behind,” City of Sculpture President Mike Dingeldein said about the transfer of several years of donations.

“Typically it’s easier for them (city government) to own and insure, since they’re on the city’s property, for the most part,” he said.

“For City of Sculpture, our major mission is to facilitate the installation of sculptures,” Dingeldein said. “Sometimes that means buying them and installing them ourselves, given the resources we can raise. But most of the time it means just helping organizations and individuals who want to donate sculpture, get them installed,” with help including finding sites, obtaining building permits and helping install, if necessary.

"The newest one, the (Dr. Sherry Lee) Corbett sculpture, just went in this summer," Dingeldein said.

Corbett (1946-2002) was fondly remembered for her restoration efforts in Hamilton.

In all, about 40 artworks have been donated under the program, ranging from sculptures valued in the tens of thousands of dollars to decorative benches valued around $3,000.

Here are the most recent 11 artworks, with their locations, and estimated values:

  • Double Crazy Swirl, near the Butler County Soldiers, Sailors and Pioneers Monument, $6,000;
  • Hebe, northwest corner of High Street and MLK Boulevard, $60,000;
  • Art Walls, at the Jack Kirsch Underpass along High Street, $15,000;
  • Two Halves of a Whole, southeast corner of B and Main streets, $4,000;
  • Big Dog; entry to Veterans' Park, $3,500;
  • Guitar, RiversEdge, $7,500;
  • Resurgence, RiversEdge, $5,000;
  • 4 People, RiversEdge, $10,000;
  • Millikin Woods Totem, Millikin Woods, $3,000;
  • 1913 Flood Memorial, B Street and Park Avenue, $3,000;
  • the Corbett Memorial, B and Main streets, $25,000

The sculptures do not include the dozens at Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park or the Fitton Center for Creative Arts.

There’s also a way to learn about the sculptures in Hamilton: You can obtain for free the Otocast app for your phone at Otocast.com. It contains recorded explanations about all the Hamilton pieces , along with public artworks across the country.

“It knows where you are, so when you’re in the city of Hamilton it says, ‘These are the closest sculptures to where you are. It’s a great app, because when I’m in Chicago or New York, the same app works there as well,” Dingeldein said.

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