Hickory – The City of Hickory Public Art Commission (PAC) announces the installation of a new acquisition, “Generations,” by artist Stefan “Steebo” Bonitz. The interactive work, which invites participants of all ages to gong a large bell, is located in Sally Fox Park in downtown Hickory.
Public Art Commission Chair, Todd Hefner, said, “Sally Fox Park has become a focus of the commission because it is perfectly situated next to the future City Walk and nearby Hickory Museum of Art/SALT Block. It is an anchor for the City’s Art Walk, and we are collectively working on a plan to enhance this jewel of the city. The new sculpture certainly welcomes people into this space.”
The Art Walk, which begins at Union Square and meanders through downtown all the way to Lenoir-Rhyne University, has been another top priority for the commission. A colorful new brochure outlining the route and highlighting key works of art is set to be distributed early this summer.
As for the new sculpture, visitors cannot resist gonging its metal bell.
“We discovered this piece at the Lenoir Sculpture Celebration last September, and it was at the top of our acquisitions list,” said Carolyn Sinclair, PAC member. “While we were considering it, we observed how the public interacted with it. There wasn’t a person, of any age, who could pass by without trying their luck. It brought such joy to them, and we knew it was a winner.”
The judges of the celebration considered it a winner too, and awarded it a coveted Merit Award.
Mr. Bonitz, who resides in Asheville, NC, has a long career working with many different media, including works of fabric, leather, airbrushing, acrylic painting, graphic design, and mixed media assemblages.
Since the mid ‘90s, after participating in welding classes in Asheville, his passion for metal influenced most of his work. The main emphasis was on functional art, lighting, furniture, and garden sculpture, with a style ranging from folk art to high design. Currently, Bonitz’s drive and desire has funneled to a focal point of “art from the heart” and the creations are branded as “Steebo Sculptures”. His work may be viewed at www.steebo.com.
The City of Hickory Public Art Commission is one of the City’s 14 advisory groups. Members are appointed by the Hickory City Council to provide a forum for integrating public art into the public space, to help create a visual sense of the community, and to provide leadership in implementing a public art program for Hickory.
The PAC is composed of nine members – one from each ward, three at large members, and one Youth Council member.
Citizens interested in serving on an advisory group will find an application at http://www.hickorync.gov/content/boards-and-commission.