Harrison Township artist Curt Winnega, pictured with his wife, Doreen, donated his creation “Young and Hungry” to the Beautification Commission’s sculpture program. The iron sculpture, which was unveiled July 27, is located at Tucker Park.

Harrison Township artist Curt Winnega, pictured with his wife, Doreen, donated his creation “Young and Hungry” to the Beautification Commission’s sculpture program. The iron sculpture, which was unveiled July 27, is located at Tucker Park.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Local artist donates work for township’s sculpture program

Grant will help fund fourth installment

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published August 8, 2018

 Winnega, right, shakes hands with Harrison Township Supervisor Ken Verkest while township Beautification Commission member Sue Keehn looks on during the unveiling of Winnega’s sculpture.

Winnega, right, shakes hands with Harrison Township Supervisor Ken Verkest while township Beautification Commission member Sue Keehn looks on during the unveiling of Winnega’s sculpture.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The third installment in the Harrison Township Beautification Commission’s sculpture program was unveiled July 27 at Tucker Park.

“Young and Hungry,” created by local artist Curt Winnega, depicts a mother bird and baby bird in iron.

Winnega, a retired teacher and principal at Roseville Community Schools and an art instructor at Wayne State University, said he created the sculpture last year while enrolled at the College for Creative Studies. He said his Aztec-inspired piece took approximately 30 hours to complete.

He said his affinity for the avian variety is what inspired this latest piece.

“I love birds and wanted to create something that demonstrated that,” said Winnega, who has lived in Harrison Township with his wife since 1959.

The sculpture is located at the rear of the restroom facility adjacent to the Tucker Senior Center, and is surrounded by a flower garden.

Susan Keehn, a longtime member of the Beautification Commission, said the latest sculpture fits into the peaceful surroundings.

“We’re grateful he would donate one of his sculptures,” she said.

Winnega said it was always something he “wanted to do for the township.”

“I thought the dedication was very, very nice. I appreciated it,” he said. “The Beautification Commission did a nice job picking out the perfect spot. They are very, very hospitable and I enjoyed working with them.”

And there’s a fourth sculpture on the way.

In July, the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced that it was awarding $11 million in grants to different nonprofit organizations around southeast Michigan, with Harrison Township slated to receive $9,600 to fund a public art sculpture at Waterfront Park on Jefferson Avenue.

Keehn said the grant will help fund the balance of a sculpture that will be dedicated on Aug. 24.

“We have received donations from residents and businesses that covered half of the sculpture and (the) grant to cover the balance,” she said. 

The first two sculptures, which were paid for through donations, were created by Detroit artists and brothers Erik and Israel Nordin. The first was erected near the Metropolitan Parkway bike path, between Crocker Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue, and the second can be seen at the corner of Metropolitan Parkway and Crocker Boulevard.

Since its inception, the Community Foundation has partnered with local nonprofits to support the arts, health and human services, education and leadership development, and has led an array of special projects like the GreenWays program and the New Economy Initiative.

“We are focused on supporting positive change in our region,” said Community Foundation President Mariam Noland in a prepared statement. “The Community Foundation has provided over $1 billion to help charitable organizations meet important needs.”