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1-Year Extension Signed for Sculpture Loan

'The Search,' 'Crescent' and 'Attic Trophy' will stay in the borough for another year.

The Chatham Borough Council approved a one-year extension of a loan with The Sculpture Foundation for three sculptures currently located downtown to remain in the borough.

The contract extension includes the following three sculptures:

  • "Attic Trophy" by Seward Johnson, the bronze sculpture of the young girl with a hula hoop located in Memorial Park
  • "Crescent" by Richard Jolley, the larger-than-life bronze head reminiscent of the Man in the Moon' located in the Commuter's Oasis at the Chatham NJ Transit Train Station
  • and "The Search" by Seward Johnson, the bronze sculpture with park bench of an elderly woman looking in her purse for her glasses, which rest on top of her head. The sculpture is located in Memorial Park in front of the Library of the Chathams.

This is the second time The Sculpture Foundation has agreed to a one-year extension of the loan to Chatham Borough. Jen Kaplan of the Public Arts Council said the sculptures were originally on different loan agreements because they were installed at different times. "We're on the same cycle now," she said. "At some point we married all the sculptures under one umbrella."

, "and it felt like there was an undercurrent of interest." So along with other volunteers from the community, she founded the Public Arts Advisory Council in 2008. The council relies on donors to such art to Chatham's downtown, where residents, commuters and motorists can appreciate it.

"Attic Trophy" was first installed next to the Library of the Chathams in 2009, thanks to a loan from The Sculpture Foundation, a grant from Investor's Bank and a donation from Westy Storage of moving services. The sculpture helped Chatham Borough win the 2009 Morris County McFlower Award, and the award plaque is still displayed in front of the library.

In 2010, a grant from HSBC Bank made the installations of "The Search" and "Crescent" possible. Again, Westy donated moving services.

"The Search" was originally located in the park behind the library and adjacent to North Hillside Avenue. In August 2011, Kaplan coordinated its relocation to the front of the library along Main Street.

The California-based nonprofit The Sculpture Foundation encourages the placement and sharing of art in the public realm. Paula Stoeke, the director of The Sculpture Foundation, said, "Any placement of art in a park or along the streets brings the gift of inspiration and visual stimulation. We celebrate Chatham Borough’s Public Arts [Advisory] Council’s commitment to the arts and encourage everyone to come down to visit the sculptures.”

The council's next major project is a mural planned for the underpass beneath the New Jersey Transit bridge on Fairmount Avenue. "We are so excited about the mural and how the many thousands of pieces have come together. The community has really positively come together around the mural," Kaplan said.

Ron Swanson December 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Hopefully this will be the last one-year loan extension the Council will grant without taking into consideration the the views of many Borough residents who consider the statues at the library to be eyesores. Patch should interview folks on the street as to what they think of those statues - the response may be surprising to those so convinced these statues bring aesthetic value to the Borough. Also, the community has not "positively come together around the mural" planned for the Fairmount underpass. Comments opposed to that mural were delivered but ignored. Finally, the Borough Council should get itself out of the public art business and stick to managing the town - beauty is in the eye of the beholder and when the "Ministry of Art" starts telling citizens what they should be looking at and admiring, they are overstepping their authority.
hani December 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
they are the ugliest and scariest sculptures i have ever seen.
Kristina Pasko December 18, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I never considered "The Search" lady to be elderly!
LoveChatham December 19, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Creepy! They need to go.

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