Artists selected for Rotary Club Art Park

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“The Key to Success: Doing Your Best” by Sandy Hall. Photo submitted

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GREENFIELD — The Rotary Club of Greenfield has selected four artists to feature in its new Rotary Art Park along the Pennsy Trail.

The club asked for submissions from artists who live or work in Hancock County highlighting at least one of Rotary’s six areas of focus: promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies.

Rotary Club member Deby Low, who is leading the project, said the club wanted to create a “footprint” project that could be a permanent enhancement to the trail and to downtown Greenfield.

The local Rotary Club has previously helped sponsor Pennsy Trail improvement efforts through its annual Steak’N Bake’N Raffle event and other fundraisers.

“The club was very excited about that, that we were continuing our work along the Pennsy Trail,” Low said.

Pieces included in the Art Park will be converted into a digital format and displayed on framed, weatherproof vinyl panels.

Four art pieces by three artists were chosen for inclusion in the display, out of eight submissions received. The works include “The Foundations” by Cathleen Huffman; “Rotary Redesigned” by Lauren Hughes; and “Together We Make a Difference” and “The Key to Success: Doing Your Best” by Sandy Hall.

“They’re all totally different, which is a good thing,” Low said.

Low said the club hopes to install the artwork within the next two to three weeks. The site is near the trail’s intersection with Riley Avenue, adjacent to the future Depot Street park.

Huffman, who is not a Rotary Club member, said it was interesting to learn about the organization’s areas of focus in order to find inspiration for her piece.

“I think if everybody followed them, the world would be a better place,” Huffman said.

Her watercolor painting uses the visual motif of a cairn, a carefully balanced pile of stones used as a memorial or landmark, to represent the importance of balance and how the Rotary tenets work together. Huffman said she usually paints historical architecture, so the project was an exciting change to get outside of her comfort zone.

Huffman said she was honored that her work was chosen for inclusion in the display.

“It’s really great of the Rotary Club to support local artists,” she said.

Hall, a longtime artist who has helped create murals for other community projects including the Hancock County Humane Society and the Nameless Creek Youth Camp, created two murals based on the ideas of supporting education and growing local economies.

The first drew on her experiences as a former teacher, while the latter was inspired by research into Rotary’s work worldwide, Hall said.

Hall said she thought the Art Park would be a good addition to the Pennsy Trail experience.

“Hopefully it will stir their imagination and tell them a story,” Hall said.

Funds for the Art Park came from a dedicated Rotary fund for community improvement projects. The club has budgeted $20,000 for the initial installations. Low said the plan is to replace the pieces on display every two years with other works by local artists, which should cost approximately $5,000 each time.

Low said the display will be a good addition to the overall aesthetic of downtown Greenfield. The display will be located near the planned Riley Literary Trail, a multi-use path that will connect the Riley Boyhood Home and Museum with Greenfield’s downtown district. Construction on that project is expected to begin in 2023 and cost an estimated $2.3 million.

“It’s going to add another spark to downtown and how we represent our town,” Low said.

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