Setting record straight on new art

City of Fort Dodge has Deardorf Foundation to thank for new sculpture

A new piece of public art intended to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Fort Dodge city charter will debut downtown later this year.

It will be made by Dan Perry, a sculptor from Waterloo.

His finished artwork will stand some 15 feet tall on First Avenue South near Ninth Street. It will consist of various forms to represent aspects of Fort Dodge’s past, present and future. For example, the base of the sculpture will be made of interwoven forms symbolizing gypsum, a mineral key to the economy of Fort Dodge. A central column representing growth will rise from that base. The column will be illuminated by color-changing LED lights at night. A ribbon representing the Des Moines River will wrap around the column.

We acknowledge that the artwork may not be everybody’s idea of beauty and grace. That’s alright. Good art is supposed to elicit different reactions and different opinions.

Having different opinions about the merits of a piece of art is healthy and to be expected.

But bitter and often baseless attacks on the project and the people behind it is not healthy for the community.

The sculpture will be a gift to the people of Fort Dodge from the Catherine Vincent Deardorf Charitable Foundation. The foundation is spending $70,000 of its own money to buy this artwork. That’s not tax money; that’s the foundation’s money.

And to set the record straight, the $70,000 is only for the sculpture. It cannot be used to fix any streets.

When the sculpture project first became public, there was an outburst of negativity on social media. We think someone should have thanked the foundation for investing in our community.

So we’ll say it now. To everyone associated with the Catherine Vincent Deardorf Charitable Foundation, we say thank for all you’ve done for Fort Dodge.


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