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