Hastings Sculpture Tour – Bright Side 2
Now let’s go out to Hastings, where we can
see how art has transformed a small town into a cultural destination. There’s lots of special things about Hastings.
Obviously I’m standing next to the sculpture. We have a great sculpture exhibit. This is
our second annual year. It’s turned into 20 sculptures and they’re within walking distance
of the downtown and you can walk from sculpture to sculpture enjoying the vibrancy of our
beautiful little downtown Hastings. So many people from all over have heard about
our sculpture tour and come to visit. From the outlying cities: Kalamazoo, Battle Creek,
Lansing, Grand Rapids and other communities as well from Michigan. I had a lady who lives
here in Hastings. She brings her two sisters every year. They come to visit every year
and they think it’s great and walk around and have lunch. So we’re getting lots of exposure
all over the state, so I think that’s pretty exciting. I would say one of the favorites is the horse,
which is right behind you. That I love because of the fact it’s… when you get up close
to it, it’s made up of all different kinds of pieces of metal. Like things that you would
recognize. It’s kind of neat to see those things and maybe some things that you see
laying in a junk yard or different places that have no use anymore and now they do because
they’re part of the horse. And his name is Gaze. John Hart, our Director of Community Development
here in Hastings obviously is an art enthusiast. So that’s where it all began and he researched
Midwest Sculpture Initiative and that’s how we began is he got one sculpture from them.
Midwest Sculpture Initiative comes here and they show us a slide show of different sculptures
that the artists have submitted to him to be in the sculpture exhibits. We chose to
have 10. You can choose the amount that you want. You can have 15, 20. But we chose 10. So what happens is those art enthusiasts and
artists and actually different artists we have in town, art teachers, other community
members, come on that day and then there’s a vote about which ten that we will have downtown.
So it’s not chosen by John or I, it’s chosen by the community of which ones they would
really like to have in our downtown. And as you can see, when you walk through downtown
there’s a different variety of art here. Things that kids and adults both enjoy. Business professionals, real estate developers,
marketers throughout the state and within the region as well as our community members
view the installation of the sculptures for what they are: art, a community, and economic
development strategy. It’s been pretty fantastic.