The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department is excited to announce that the sculpture Convergence by artist Linda Howard has been chosen to be the visual anchor of the Promenade Park entrance. The sculpture is expected to be installed in Promenade Park in June 2018.
“I’m honored to have been selected for such a prestigious project,” said Howard. “Convergence is an uplifting sculpture. I anticipate many hours of delight as I create this unifying sculpture. And, I look forward to seeing the positive reactions from park visitors when the sculpture is installed next year.”
Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Linda Howard has studied at several prestigious universities, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Denver and the School of Architecture in New York. She currently lives and works in Bradenton, Florida. In her 42-year career, she has created and installed sculptures in eighteen states and in the country of Australia.
Convergence suggests the flow of the three rivers coming together, which has unified this region and the people. As one moves around the sculpture, one experiences a visual adventure, never seeing the same view twice. Light and shadows constantly change in the ambient light. The form relates to the rhythm of the water, the heartbeat of the three rivers, a crossroad, and a powerful unifying force. The design creates a force of energy and momentum which is always moving forward. This art form is uplifting and leaves one with a sense of delight. The sculpture creates a space for contemplation, introspection, solitude and peace. The completed sculpture will weigh approximately 2,400 pounds and measure approximately 19 feet high, 28 feet wide, and 28 feet deep. More information about Ms. Howard and her sculptures may be found at: http://www.lindahowardsculpture.com.
“The sculptures were evaluated based on characteristics such as artistic and aesthetic quality, durability, sustainability, uniqueness, and its representation of diverse cultures and styles,” said Ruth Stone, Riverfront Sculpture Selection Committee Chair. “While all five of the submissions were excellent in their own way, Convergence stood out by truly embodying the original vision the committee had for an iconic sculpture to represent our city. The committee voted unanimously in favor of Convergence and looks forward to its installation next summer.”
“We were pleased to partner with Arts United and such a diverse selection committee to ensure that the sculpture chosen would be a piece the community would be proud of, and it was reassuring that Convergence was chosen unanimously with so many stellar proposals,” said Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “It’s exciting to envision the many families who will gather in front of this towering masterpiece for a photo they’ll cherish forever.”
In January 2016, the Waterfield Foundation donated $100,000 through the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. for the creation of the entryway sculpture. The donation, combined with a 50% match from Lilly Endowment, Inc., brought the total value of the donation to $150,000. The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department partnered with Arts United to ensure that the final piece of art would represent the rivers and the growing vibrancy of downtown Fort Wayne through an unbiased selection process. Arts United assembled a volunteer committee of art experts and community members to review and recommend best practices for public art selection. The selection committee was led by Alec Johnson, Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department Landscape Architect and Ruth Stone, an Arts United Board Member and past project manager for IPFW Sculpture with Purpose. Other committee members include:
- Nancy Stewart, Arts United Board Member and Commissioner representing northeast Indiana for the Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency
- Rick Cartwright, retired Dean of the University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts
- Charles Shepard, President & CEO of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art
- Rena Bradley, community development coordinator for Bridge of Grace Compassionate Ministries and winner of the Knight Cities Challenge in 2016
- Chris Ruckman, downtown resident
Advisory support was provided by additional representatives from Riverfront Fort Wayne, Arts United, Strebig Construction, the Board of Park Commissioners and the City of Fort Wayne.