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Arts Commission wants donated sculpture in Traverse City

David Barr

The Traverse City Arts Commission wants to put a new modern art sculpture in the city.

The estate of David Barr is offering to donate one his steel sculptures. Barr was the founder of the Michigan Legacy Art Park. He died last year.

Arts Commission chair Mary Gillett says the commission is working with the Dennos Museum to select one of Barr’s pieces, and find a good location for it.

“It’s just a very exciting opportunity as we’re just getting our art program started," says Gillett. "That we could have another substantial piece, potentially, in the future, is great.”

Traverse City has had a rocky relationship with public art in the past. In 2008, public outcry derailed plans to put a modern art sculpture called Time Myth on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay.

The artwork offered by the Barr estate would be much smaller than Time Myth.

Gillett thinks Traverse City is ready for more public art.

Credit David Barr
David Barr, founder of Michigan Legacy Art Park, died last year.

“Art really drives our world, and drives our creativity and is essential for place-making and our spirits," she says. "I think we’re ready for more of it.”

The sculpture would be donated, but it would cost up to $7,000 to move it. Final approval must come from the full city commission.