Ledges sculpture not as promised, creators called back to finish job
The sculpture recently installed outside Coalville’s Ledges Event Center wasn’t quite what public arts board members expected.
The Public Arts Advisory Board in Summit County briefly considered suing the Argentine artists hired to create a new sculpture in Coalville.
In a closed session Sept. 21, the board debated litigation, but at its Oct. 3 meeting, members elected instead to bring back the artists to revise their creation.
The piece, as it stands, consists of crumpled and stacked metal boxes painted red, white and green, with dozens of magnets designed to mimic petroglyphs.
The public arts board said it's not the work they agreed on, so Romeo Sosa and Sasha Primo will return to add more boxes, some painted brown and orange, to the sculpture. They may plant native grasses around its base too.
Early renderings showed dark browns and reds. The sculpture was to mimic the local rock ledges, with the magnets and seating making it interactive.
Summit County historian and librarian Joe Frazier is helping run a traveling exhibit at the Ledges Event Center right now. He said the sculpture outside didn’t portray the ledges as expected.
“It's unfortunate because Sasha, one of the artists, did such a good job on the [Hoytsville] mural,” the historian said. “I'm not an art person, so maybe to someone it’s great.”
Primo had previously painted a mural on the Summit County Public Works building in Hoytsville, which involved extensive interviews with locals. He and Sosa interviewed residents again when coming up with ideas for the magnetic petroglyphs.
“I thought the magnets were awfully fun,” former arts council president Katherine Scott said. “But I guess the hardest part for me was realizing that it's on the side of a building between the bathrooms. So you don't want it to be too fine of art; you want it to be playful and functional.”
She thought the sculpture ultimately captured that playful aspect, and it remains to be seen how the sculpture functions on the fairgrounds.
“The nooks and crannies and the dents and the accordion pleats and the buckles and things—I think that the light is beautiful against it,” Scott said. “But I also think it will be interesting as the seasons change and leaves fall on it and snow gets on it too.”
Scott will again host Primo and Sosa at her ranch in Oakley while they add more boxes and colors to the sculpture.
“The board and artists have expressed a desire to work towards a finished sculpture that both more closely aligns with the board’s expectations and respects the artists’ vision for the piece," Public Arts Administrator for Park City and Summit County Thea Henney said.
The board budgeted $38,000 for the sculpture. The price tag will remain the same even with artists’ additional work.
So far, a date for the finished sculpture hasn’t been announced.