Saturday, September 09, 2000


Art is in eye of the beholder

        HAMILTON — The City of Sculpture is off to a rough start.

        In case you haven't heard, Hamilton is now known as the City of Sculpture. It's a great idea, I think. Something different to separate Hamilton from the rest of Ohio's cities.

        But then came the recent unveiling of the Hamilton Gateway sculpture, in front of the new One Renaissance Center on High Street.

        At about 65 feet high, the sculpture looks something like a rusting missile with a blue bucket attached near the middle.

        Not that I dislike it. It's intriguing. I'm just repulsed by rust.

        The first time I heard about it, I was eating dinner. An acquaintance at another table asked me what I thought about the new sculpture. Before I could answer, people at neighboring tables groaned.

        “Rusty junk!” somebody yelled.

        I drove over to see it that night, and on the way I passed several other sculptures. I appreciated their beauty and art, and realized Hamilton has a good idea on the sculpture angle. After all, every town needs something to make it different.

        In addition to the Gateway, Hamilton has a number of other sculptures to offer, including:

        The Fitton Center for Creative Arts' man and boy. Another piece in a tiny park on Main Street at the bridge over the Great Miami River. The Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road (Ohio 128), where visitors can see 265 acres of hills, woods and lakes while marveling at the 40 monumental sculptures.

        Next year, a sculpture of Lentil and his dog, characters in Robert McCloskey's children's books, will be ready in a new downtown park.

        Unfortunately, a number of letters to the editor of the Journal-News have reflected disappointment over the Gateway.

        “As I passed by this monstrosity,” a Hamilton man wrote, “I caught myself praying that my eyes were deceiving me ... we will settle for a grotesque use of metal that should be melted down and used for pop cans and license plates.”

        Actually, after looking at the piece again, I still think it looks rather interesting.

        I just wish it had a shiny coat of red paint.


        MASON — History has met the 21st century in Ohio's second-fastest growing city.

        The Mason Historical Society has started an Internet site, which incudes a guest book you can sign. The site contains information about the group and notes about local history.

        Find it at, Trustee Ken Cornett says.

        The society is looking for more members, especially younger ones. The museum also could use more volunteers to sort and catalog photographs.


        FAIRFIELD TWP. — The township fire department recently dedicated its new fire station and administrative headquarters at 6048 Morris Road.

        The station, which cost $1.8 million, is 11,500 square feet.

        Fire Chief David Downie says the building contains three drive-through apparatus bays, sleeping and shower facilities, an exercise room, combination hose and training tower, administrative offices and a training education room.

        Randy McNutt's column on life in Butler and Warren counties appears Saturdays. Contact him at 860-7118 or at The Cincinnati Enquirer, 4820 Business Center Way, Cincinnati, OH 45246.


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