Sculptures from The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc., a not-for-profit entity that encourages the placement and sharing of public art, have been placed around Saginaw’s Riverfront District. Art & About, a group of citizens committed to attracting visitors to Riverfront Saginaw through public displays of art, has invited the temporary loan of the sculptures. Ten of the sculptures will be on display through October, while the largest, “God Bless America,” will stay through November on the grounds of the Saginaw County Courthouse.
Seward Johnson’s “God Bless America” brings to life one of the most famous paintings in American history. Painted in 1930, American Gothic was Iowan artist Grant Woods’ celebration of the moral virtue of hard-working Americans, particularly the valiant farmers of the Midwest. Installation of the sculpture will begin around 10 a.m. on Thurs., June 25. The sculpture is 25-feet tall and made of aluminum, weighing in at 32,000 lbs
“We are very excited to be able to bring the “God Bless America” monumental sculpture along with ten additional life-sized sculptures to Riverfront Saginaw this summer,” said Carol Cottrell, chair, Art & About committee. “As a resilient midwestern community with a rich agricultural history, the Art & About committee believes “God Bless America” will resonate with the citizens of Saginaw as it speaks to the many of the same values we hold in high regard as a community.”
The “God Bless America” sculpture has been on view at, among other locations, the Dubuque Museum of Art; the Peoria Riverfront Museum; on Michigan Ave. in Chicago, Ill.; Mesa, Ariz.; Key West, Fla.; Elkhart, Ind.; and Grant Wood’s hometown of Anamosa, Iowa.
In addition to “God Bless America,” ten life-size sculptures by the artist from his “Celebrating the Familiar” series are on exhibit. These sculptures arrived in Saginaw on June 17. An educational display illustrating the story of how a sculpture is made will be available for viewing inside the lobby of SVRC Marketplace, 203 S. Washington Ave., during regular Marketplace business hours.
This summer’s exhibit is made possible by generous donations from The Frank N. Andersen Foundation, Covenant HealthCare, Isabella Bank, Jolt Credit Union, The Jury Foundation, The McNally Family Foundation, The Morley Foundation, the Maxwell K. Pribil Trust administered by Huntingtion Private Bank, the Saginaw Community Foundation, Saginaw Spirit, Spence Brothers, Robert E. Stark and Martin H. Stark Foundation Fund, Team One Credit Union, Alice E. Turner Memorial Trust, and the Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation. Bi-weekly cleaning of the sculptures will be provided by Romanow Building Services.