WELLINGTON, KS – Wellington Parks Special Development group with the support of the Sumner County Economic Development Commission (SCEDC) and the Wellington Community Foundation are excited to announce that the Heritage Plaza metal sculpture design has been selected for an Innovative Partnerships/Re-Imagined Spaces grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a federal agency.
Located in the former Antler’s Hotel lot at 7th and Washington Ave, the sculpture will provide a focal point for the new park emphasizing Wellington’s history and supporting downtown beautification efforts. Spanning approximately 50 feet in length, the art installation will encourage community engagement and provide a memorable experience for out-of-town visitors.
Local history as well as survey input from community members formed the inspiration for the Heritage Plaza sculpture design. Images that invoke emotions representative of significant moments in the community’s history such as longhorn cattle, bison, wheat, airplanes, wind turbines, trains, and the town's prominent water tower.
Envisioned and created by local artist Ursula Goff, the sculpture images will be plasma cut from metal plating and hand-formed over 3-D armature. Various metals will be colorized using different heat temperatures and innovative flame techniques. “Steel, copper and iron each react differently to heat applications, creating unique textures and color combinations,” explained Goff. www.ursulagoff.com
Goff will collaborate with other local artists as well as the students and faculty from Cowley College’s Career and Technical Education (CTE)/Welding program on the construction of the installation. Buddy Curry, CTE Department Chair explained, “This project provides a exceptional opportunity for Cowley College students to utilize their technical skills in a creative manner. Our welding instructor, Bob Moffatt, is extremely skilled in this area and is well known for his own artistic endeavors.”
“I hope this sculpture helps strengthen the connection between the citizens of our community and this place, providing a sense of ownership and investment in our town,” said Goff. “Transforming this empty downtown lot into a beautiful community gathering place will bring a renewed sense of inspiration.”
The fabrication of this three-dimensional mural will not only employ the creative talents of the design and metal artists but stonemasons, landscapers, lighting designers, and other members of the community. The artwork’s distinctive form will encourage tourists and I-35 corridor travelers to visit Wellington to learn more about our agricultural history and interesting downtown heritage.
Goff has designed two colorful bison images to help raise awareness and additional funds for the Heritage Plaza project. Limited edition t-shirts and hoodies with the “Fire Bison” design are now available through February 15th at www.customink.com/fundraising/heritageplazafirebison
To donate directly to the Heritage Plaza park project with your PayPal account visit: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=PJ2S76BQASMW4
Other fundraising initiatives will be announced soon. For more information visit HeritagePlaza.net and follow posts on FaceBook @Heritageplazawellington
Ursula Goff – Wellington resident artist and Sumner County business owner. Internationally known for her vibrant, colorful and exceedingly original work, she has an extensive social media following. In addition to her gallery pieces, she creates private commissioned work and offers private art tutoring. Ursula is a founding member of Wellington Special Parks Development and serves as the Vice-President of the Wellington Library Board for the Wellington Public Library, a Carnegie library built in 1915.
Wellington Special Parks Development – an organization created to identify and improve public spaces within our rural community; reimagine and reinvent these spaces to contribute to Wellington resident’s health and well-being, while increasing tourism and economic growth through park development featuring art installations, environmental education and historic preservation.
Sumner County Economic Development Commission (SCEDC) – provides assistance to new and existing businesses as well as city and community development projects. SCEDC focuses on the retention and expansion of existing business, business recruitment to Sumner County, providing organization access to valuable resources and addressing community development issues and needs.
Cowley College - is a community college with the mission of providing opportunities for learning excellence, personal achievement, and community engagement. With more than 80 majors and degree possibilities, we prepare students to transfer to a four-year program or to enter the workforce with a two-year job-ready degree. Cowley College is located in South Central Kansas and serves students from our communities, across the nation, and around the world.