This rendition of the approximately 18-foot steel and glass sculpture designed by Erik and Israel Nordin, from the Detroit Design Center, is what the Harrison Township Beautification Commission hopes to see at the corner of Conger Bay Drive and North River Road next year.

This rendition of the approximately 18-foot steel and glass sculpture designed by Erik and Israel Nordin, from the Detroit Design Center, is what the Harrison Township Beautification Commission hopes to see at the corner of Conger Bay Drive and North River Road next year.

Image provided by Susan Keehn


Fifth installment in sculpture program eyed for this fall

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published March 8, 2019

Advertisement

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — Erik and Israel Nordin, of the Detroit Design Center, are back in town, and they have a clear idea of what, and where, the next installment in the Harrison Township Beautification Commission’s sculpture program will be.

Commission Chairperson Sue Keehn said the sculpture will reflect not only the lakefront community’s past, present and future, but also its light from within.

Situated in the parcel of land at Conger Bay Drive and North River Road, the sculpture will be in the essence of a lighthouse, with glass and lighting at its peak.

“We wanted a sculpture for cultural reasons near neighborhoods all around the township,” Keehn said. “The site area has been home for marinas, residents, restaurants and other businesses for years. This area has been through a lot of hardship, adversity and change from its inception. One of the historical original structures in that area was a lighthouse, lost in the flood in 1838. The sculpture rendition will be a nod to our persistent forefathers, establishing a beautiful coastal jewel over the years.”

Erik Nordin said the 18-foot cylindrical design reflects the brothers’ grid series.

“It gives off the essence of a lighthouse, but at the same time leaves room for interpretation,” Nordin said. “It’s a nice height for that unique area.”

The brothers discovered the triangular spot of land during a tour around nearly every part of the township with Keehn and her husband, Jim, several years ago. It was then, he said, that the Harrison Township couple approached them with their idea of accessible art around the township.

“We were inspired by how passionate they were about it and how much love they had for their community,” Nordin said. “Art can change the way people think.”

Nordin said the design is a mixture of glass and steel, with the glass being the focal point.

“It will be like a safe harbor or a beacon for the community,” Nordin said.

Keehn said the sculpture will cost approximately $40,000. Through business and private donations as well as fundraisers like the Harrison Township Economic Development Council’s annual golf outing, which grossed close to $6,000, and another $1,000 from last year’s garden tour, the commission has so far raised $13,000.

They’re hoping to hit the total amount by fall. Keehn added that no in-kind donations like a base for the sculpture have been made.

The sculpture program was launched in 2012 by 12 volunteers with the Harrison Township Beautification Commission. The Nordin brothers offered their artistic abilities and partnered with the commission to expand their goal of designing accessible art unique to each metro Detroit community. They are known for installations including their “D-Burst” sculpture, recognizable to those who celebrate New Year’s in downtown Detroit, as well as their “Generations” sculpture dedicated to veterans in Corktown, and a 26-foot piece called “The Seed” in Sterling Heights.

Keehn said supporters helped with the township’s signature sculpture, “Migration,” on the corner of Metropolitan Parkway and Crocker Boulevard. Because there was no landscape around the area where the sculpture now stands, additional funds were raised to hire a local landscaper to put in benches and pavers, along with a green space around the statue.

A local family donated “Rose and Thistle,” seen along the bike path between Crocker Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue. Another sculpture was installed at Tucker Park, “Young and Hungry,” which was created and donated by artist and resident Curt Winnega. The Waterfront Park sculpture, “Wind Over Water,” was funded by businesses, residents, a Harrison Township Board of Trustees contribution, and a grant secured from the Community Foundation of Southeastern Michigan. The work for the base installation was donated by a local business, and the landscaping that was already there was redesigned by the Harrison Township Beautification Commission.

Keehn said the latest sculpture will honor the businesses that used to proudly represent the area, like the Denmarsh Hotel and the Lighthouse Inn.

“Along with the tenacity of residents both then and now to live, work and play in this beautiful community,” she said. “This new sculpture is about honoring the past, the amazing residents and business in the community today, and a guiding light of leadership for stability in the changing tides of the future.”

There are different donation tiers, and the names of all donors will be listed on a plaque that will be erected alongside the sculpture: bronze donor ($500), silver donor ($1,000), gold donor ($2,500) or platinum donor ($5,000).

To donate, contact Sue Keehn at (586) 242-3868 or at keehns@wowway.com. There are sculpture flyers and donation forms at the Harrison Township Administration Office at 38151 L’Anse Creuse St.

Advertisement