Massachusetts artist Lydia Musco was directing coworkers Wednesday as they delivered shipping crates holding three book-inspired sculptures that will become the centerpieces of downtown Davidson’s newest public art project. The new “Book Garden” is being constructed off Main Street, between the Davidson public library branch and the CVS pharmacy.
Ms. Musco, who was a visiting artist at Davidson College a couple of years ago, said workers will be pouring footings and installing the sculptures over the next few days.
Meanwhile, the Davidson Public Art Commission will dedicate the new Book Garden on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m. in a ceremony open to the public.
The event will include a visit from Curious George, courtesy of Main Street Books, and Dudley the dog, courtesy of the Davidson Public Library. Teens and tweens will receive free copies of “The Hunger Games,” donated by Scholastic Books, while supplies last. And the Wells Fargo Foundation is providing stagecoach rides from the library’s parking lot.
“Karen Donnelly and all the members of the Public Art Commission have worked collaboratively to make this project happen,” said Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum said in a press release. “We are grateful to them, designer J’Nell Bryson, and our funders.”
The $110,588 Book Garden has been funded by a variety of donors, including the Wells Fargo Foundation, residents David and Betsey Stewart, the Arts & Science Council, the Town of Davidson, and other Davidson families.
ORIGINS IN 2008
The Book Garden is envisioned as an “outdoor reading room,” and has been designed by landscape architect J’Nell Bryson. It’s actually based on an idea that the Town of Davidson planning staff first presented in 2008. The town’s public art task force asked citizens and people who work in town to design projects that fit their concept of “public art.”
The ideas were presented in a town hall exhibit in January/February 2008.
Former Town Planner Kris Krider said this week he and his staff worked on the concept in late 2007. The Book Garden project was announced in 2009, on the day the town dedicated its first public art sculpture, Andy Dunnill’s “Bouquet for Davidson,” in front of the Davidson post office.
July 10, 2012, “Book Garden taking shape next to public library.”
April 26, 2009, “Donations to fund another public art project” – announcement of the book garden project.
Feb. 6, 2008, “Public art exhibit runs through Feb.”