“Kent Bicentennial Sculpture” to be revealed Sunday

Lydia Coutré

People featured in “Kent Bicentennial Sculpture”

  • Native Americans
  • Early 19th century settlers
  • Marvin Kent
  • Escapees from Enslavement
  • John Brown
  • Marvin Davey
  • John Davey
  • Railroad worker
  • Victims of May 4th Shooting:
    • Jeffrey Miller
    • Sandra Scheuer
    • Allison Krause
    William Schroeder
  • University students

Kent citizens can see their city’s history set in bronze Saturday when a local artist reveals his “Kent Bicentennial Sculpture.”

About three years ago, the bicentennial committee commissioned Kent sculptor George Danhires to create a public sculpture honoring the city’s history, said John Idone, director of Kent Parks and Recreation.

The project was delayed a couple of times before Parks and Recreation took over.

Danhires has spent eight months working on the piece he will unveil Saturday at 3 p.m. during Art in the Park, which takes place at Fred Fuller Park on Middlebury Road. The sculpture will be revealed near the youth artists’ tent, Idone said.

Danhires said he feels good about the final product.

“It’s always good to get something done and see it in bronze,” Danhires said. “It takes a long time. It’s a lot of work. And when it’s over, it’s a sense of accomplishment.”

He originally sculpted the piece in clay, from which a mold was made. It was then taken to a foundry, where they made a bronze casting from the mold.

Danhires traveled to and from Studio Foundry in Cleveland to touch up the piece.

The 4-by-6-foot sculpture will be mounted on large sandstones recycled from the Plum Creek Dam removal.

Danhires said he put a “bit of an arch” on the sculpture to represent the Kent Dam.

“Then I put figures from Kent, from the original inhabitants up to the contemporary students,” Danhires said.

People featured in the sculpture include Marvin Kent, whom the city was named after; John Davey, a Kent native who became an Ohio governor, and his son, Martin Davey; the four students killed on May 4, 1970; and John Brown, revolutionary abolitionist.

Danhires said he did some research “here and there” but already had “a pretty good idea of things that have happened in Kent.”

“It makes you more aware of how things developed, and why different streets have the names that they have and who’s been through the town.”

Idone said the sculpture is an “interesting blend of old and new.

“I think it’s certainly a piece of public art that I think might inspire some people to have an interest in the history of the area,” Idone said.

The sculpture will eventually be moved to a permanent location on Franklin Avenue between the Pufferbelly Restaurant and the gazebo.

It will be formally dedicated on Sept. 25 at 1 p.m.

“It gives them a sense of what’s transpired in the city, in the area (and) people who have come through every year.” Danhires said. “There’s history here, and it’s a place to be proud of.”

Contact Lydia Coutré at [email protected].