WATERTOWN — Earlier this week, sculptor and Watertown native David O. Grieco was back in town to work on his sculpture that will adorn Public Square’s Peanut Park.
Mr. Grieco — a Los Angeles-based artist whose sculpture design was chosen for a public art project funded by the city’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative program — was in the north country to get ready for the sculpture’s unveiling this summer.
He was finishing up work on the foundation for his sculpture, which will be prominently displayed in the middle of downtown.
On Wednesday, he flew back home to California to continue work on the sculpture itself.
“I’m excited to see it coming together and all the hard work that David is putting into it,” said senior planner Jennifer Voss, who is overseeing the public art project for the city.
The main component of the piece is stainless steel in the shape of an open book that sits atop a limestone base.
The book’s pages represent the city’s history and founders, nature, snow, the Black River, fish and Watertown’s city limits. It will include symbols of First Baptist Church, Hotel Woodruff, Flower Memorial Library and the Mill Street bridge.
Mr. Grieco was last here in October to work on the base.
This time, he and some friends created a concrete map of Watertown at the ground level and worked on the base that will eventually feature a limestone veneer on all four sides.
That cement will cure over the next few weeks before the other portion of the finished sculpture is trucked here this summer and placed on the concrete base.
Mr. Grieco also was in Watertown to pick out limestone that matches historic buildings in Public Square that will make up the art piece’s veneer facing.
The $135,000 project is part of the city’s $10 million DRI awarded in 2017.
The 3-ton piece is so massive he cannot work on it in his studio. He rented space from his developer friends, Yuval Barzemen and Paul Solomon, who were instrumental in creating the Los Angeles art district.
It’s been a long process over the winter that included carving foam, piecing the mold together and welding the piece.
Over the past 20 years, Mr. Grieco has become an accomplished sculptor in southern California and has traveled the world doing what he loves.
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