A family of metal pachyderms on one of Baraboo’s main thoroughfares will double in size when new twin baby elephants arrive Saturday.
The Baraboo Public Art Association will hold a public dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. in Myron Park on South Boulevard to welcome the new additions, made possible by a $10,000 donation from Baraboo resident Lucille Henry.
“We’re just delighted that there is community support to continue to bring public art to the city of Baraboo,” said Cully Shelton, an art association volunteer board member.
At 96 years old, Henry worked with the Greater Sauk Community Foundation to make her donation for the twins, named Noah and Norah. Its the second time she’s sponsored sculptures for the park, said Foundation Executive Director Robin Whyte.
Last year, Henry gave $12,000 to add an adult elephant sculpture, named after her and installed in August. Lucy joined the first baby, Ruby, which was created by Madison artists William Grant Turnbull and Laura Richards and installed in December 2017 after the Baraboo Public Art Association chose their proposal, Shelton said.
He said the community originally expressed interest in incorporating sculptures on the narrow strip of land, prompting the city group to ask for proposals from artists. Elephants were “an inspiration” from Turnbull.
“The Baraboo Public Art Association’s current work as part of this project is to try to help celebrate the cultural heritage of the city of Baraboo, and so the elephants were a very fitting piece to that story,” Shelton said.
Commissioned by the art association, Iowa metal artist Larry Pearson created Lucy and the new twins, who will be situated behind Lucy.
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Now the group plans to add at least one more adult pachyderm to lead the parade. This one will be designed by Lodi artist Dean Allen, according to an art association news release.
Bringing more of the metal animals to the park fulfills a desire Henry shared with the News Republic last year. She said she hoped “to see a whole line of elephants” there, adding in another interview that she hoped her donation would inspire others to give.
“I do hope it will make other people interested, even if it’s a small donation that will grow,” Henry said after making her first donation. “I hope I started something.”
The art association is raising funds for a fifth elephant, starting with a $5,000 grant from the Sauk County University of Wisconsin Extension, Arts and Culture Committee. Donations can be made by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the total project will be matched by the city group, as required by the grant.
A Baraboo Public Art Association representative will speak Saturday at the installation to thank Henry for her donation and Fairfield Concrete of Baraboo for donating the cost of the cement pad upon which the sculptures will sit, Shelton said.
The nonprofit organization is an ad hoc city committee formed by Mayor Mike Palm in 2012 to bring public art to Baraboo that celebrates its history, geography and cultural heritage, according to the release. Its other contributions include a bird sculpture along the Baraboo Riverwalk and three downtown murals.
Future plans to beautify Myron Park include developing a prairie landscape between the sculptures.