This week the Athenaeum had an Artscape- sponsored piece installed at the Wendell Avenue entrance to the library. Circus, by Michael Thomas, is a welded steel sculpture in a distinctive orange and generates engaging shadow play as the sun travels across the sky.
Asked about his commitment to displaying in this space that he calls the “Athenaeum Plaza” – from the 17th century Spanish, literally meaning “place” – Thomas explains, “I’ve always just been whizzing by in a vehicle, barely noticing the jewel that is the Athenaeum Plaza … but once working on the grounds there, installing sculpture, I began to feel the synergy between the open space, the court buildings across the street with their enormous, majestic, hardwood trees, and the Library itself. There is a palpable conversation going on here, and this space is built for people … walking, talking, coming and going, not in any frantic rush. The kind of serene place where things slow to a human pace and connection is made between structure, environment and residents. It’s really quite an extraordinary ‘place’ ; and it’s gratifying to know that someone long ago had the vision to design it, knowing full well that it would become a place for gathering, and a place with the potential for remarkable beauty.”
We couldn’t be happier to host Thomas’ engaging work and invite you to stop by and enjoy the work in situ.
Our thanks to Artscape, a volunteer-led committee which sponsors, plans and oversees an annual juried exhibition of public art in the City of Pittsfield.