A new sculpture, designed by famed Akron artist Don Drumm, will perch on a perch in High Bridge Glens Park in Cuyahoga Falls this fall.
“Birdsnest” is the first project approved by the Cuyahoga Falls Public Arts Board, which was established in late 2020 in accordance with a city masterplan to develop a unique public arts program.
Drumm, 87, said he spent a year working on the project, designing the large stainless steel sculpture in a way he believes would suit the environment in the park on Front St.
A major step kicks off this month, with welders slated to begin cutting pieces that will form the sculpture.
“The shapes have to be cut for their own beauty or self-interest, and welded together to create positive or negative shapes,” Drumm said. “And while I was working on it, I started… [think] “Look, that would be a great place to introduce birds that come out.” So that’s how I came up with the simple name ‘Birdsnest’.”
Figures representing birds will appear to soar to the top of the 25-foot sculpture, he said. Stainless steel was chosen for the body for its reflective properties – which Drumm said will give the artwork a different look based on atmospheric conditions. While many of his artworks are images of the sun itself, this one draws inspiration from sunlight.
“The sun plays a big part of the interest, beauty — seeing the shapes and what have you got,” Drumm said. “And as the sun moves across the sky, the picture is almost like a movie screen. Shadows will cast and move and, if it’s a dull day or a rainy day, it won’t look the same as it would on a sunny day.”
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In a press release, Mayor Don Walters said the city is delighted to be working with Drumm on the project.
“We know that public art positively impacts community health and tourism and can serve as an economic engine in cities like Cuyahoga Falls,” Walters said. The park, which overlooks the Cuyahoga River, is adjacent to the Sheraton Suites hotel.
Public Arts Board chairman Rick Krochka said installations like “Birdsnest” will make Cuyahoga Falls a more inviting place to call home.
“People and businesses prefer to live in areas rich in art,” Krochka said.
Drumm said much of the work to complete the project will involve companies from Cuyahoga Falls. While assembly at the park is scheduled to begin this fall, he said conditions regarding the supply of necessary materials could bring completion in the winter.
Drumm also said the design includes night lighting — with various creative effects to complement holidays and seasons.
“Too often you see things at night that make no sense,” Drumm said. “We’re going to try to play, once it’s done, with the idea of making it as interesting at night as it is during the day.”