Saturday, August 11, 2018

McGowan Park Sculpture

   On Thursday-9- August a block of limestone, weighting over 3,000 lbs , was delivered to the Community Garden at McGowan Park in Ridgefield Park.  This will become a new Centre piece of the Garden which  sits on the banks of Overpeck Creek. The stone will be transformed by Ridgefield Park artist George Cooke.  Mr Cooke,  is looking to work together with Sung Ho Choi to bring his idea to life. Mr Cooke already has a number of original works decorating the garden. The sculpture is designed by Sung Ho Choi, a former resident of Ridgefield Park, after his design was selected on an open competition.  The work is entitled "AEON"  which will symbolize a spirit of  timelessness and eternity of nature. Mr Choi used  a painting from the old Korean Chosun Dynasty as inspiration for his work. He also incorporated ten  symbols that show longevity, as part of the design. He hopes to bring the feeling living healthy and long life with happiness to everyone who works, or visits the garden.
  Workers from the Ridgefield Park Dept of Public Works off loaded the limestone block and placed it on a temporary stand in order for the carving to take place. The DPW is also working on a new pedestal in the centre of the garden that will be the final home of the completed work. Mr Cooke will be carving the sculpture over the next few months. He does not give a completion estimate, saying that he wants devote the time and craftsmanship  needed to produce a quality work of art. 
   This will be the latest addition to McGowan Park which first opened in the late 1920's and was named after the former Ridgefield Park Mayor  Hugh McGowan. Over the years the park has slowly gone through a number of improvements.  More recently a new playground, and the gazebo were added allowing the park to be more welcoming. In 2017 the McGowan and Fellowship  Parks opened a Community Gardens in both locations.  Since that time the residents of the Village has shown interest and support for these gardens and have had to expand from their original design. 
  Opening remarks from Mark Olsen and John Anlian,  to the crowd that had gather, expressed support for not only the garden by to the art community  growing in Ridgfield  Park. Then the attendees had the opportunity to look at the model up close and talk with both the Designer and the Sculptor about future of the new centre piece.  This was followed by a  reception at Art Mora on Main St. following the ceremony.  

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