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Posted on Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

New sculpture celebrating the Midwest to be dedicated at Saline District Library

By Lisa Carolin

For artist Jane DeDecker, Saline is a reminder of the openness and gentleness that the Midwest offers. DeDecker, who is originally from Iowa and now resides in Colorado, has several sculptures at the Saline District Library, and on Sunday, another one of her sculptures will be unveiled and dedicated at the library.

The life-sized bronze sculpture is called "Heartland Stories," and it was given to the library anonymously with the request that the gift recognize families who farm. The statue is dedicated to the parents of the donor, whose name will appear on a plaque that will be unveiled at the 1 p.m. event at the library's North Maple Road entrance.

"'Heartland Stories' shows the diversity and history of the community," DeDecker said. "It's about sharing things you learn about hard work and patriotism."

DeDecker has been a frequent participant in the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is where Saline District Library board member William Roach discovered her work. He purchased two of her sculptures in 1996, which have since been displayed at the library.

"We embrace the visual arts in a big way," said Leslee Niethammer, the library's director.

Niethammer said she believes the statue will draw attention to the library and the Library-Brecon Trail, a partnership project between the city of Saline and the library. The 10-foot-wide asphalt pathway goes from Maple Road to North Harris Street and connects with the Depot Trail, which connects North Harris Street to North Ann Arbor Street.

"We decided to put in enhancements on the library's part of the trail," said Niethammer. "You will be able to see the new sculpture, which will be on the trail, from Maple Road."

The original plan was for DeDecker to attend the dedication right after the Ann Arbor Art Fair, but she was unable to make it to this year's fair. As a result, "Heartland Stories" is being shipped from Colorado and was scheduled to arrive in Saline by Wednesday.

"My work shows positive affirmations about life and living," said DeDecker, who won't be there for the dedication. "'Heartland Stories' shows how the community is built and how rich it is in its heritage and generosity."


Dog Guy

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Donor, art patron, gift, history of the community, philanthropy, partnership project . . . I'm from Ann Arbor so please explain these terms.


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Her work is so beautiful! Re: a photo - it would take the thrill out of the unveiling if a photo was posted beforehand, eh? (patience please!)


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

Another heritage art work celebrating MI, hired out to an out of state artist? Why did they not use MI talent?


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Kyle....Yep. That's exactly what I was thinking of

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.

Here's what you're thinking of tdw:


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

I assumed the donor hired the artist.

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

Hired? Guess you didn't bother to read the article. That fact was buried in the second paragraph.


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

Didn't a guy in Saline make a kick butt ( don't want to get violated ) statue of Jefferson ?

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

It would have been nice to have a photo.


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

That's the first thing I looked for


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

Photo of the artwork, please?


Mon, Jul 29, 2013 : 12:13 p.m.

It is not scheduled to arrive until Wednesday. I am pretty sure the library would rather wait until after the unveiling on Sunday before they distribute pics.