Don Drumm’s sculpture ‘Birdsnest’ will be installed in Cuyahoga Falls Park

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A new sculpture designed by renowned Akron artist Don Drumm will take up residence this fall in a perch in High Bridge Glens Park in Cuyahoga Falls.

“Birdsnest” is the first project approved by the Cuyahoga Falls Public Arts Board, which formed in late 2020 under a city master plan to develop a unique public art program.

Drumm, 87, said he had been working on the project for a year and designed the large stainless steel sculpture in a way he thought would suit its surroundings in the grounds of 1817 Front St.

A key milestone begins this month, with welders set to begin cutting out the pieces that will form the sculpture.

“Shapes should 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 to [think] “See, this would be a good place to showcase the birds that come out.” That’s how I came up with the simple name “Birdsnest”. “

Don Drumm talks about his five-decade career as a sculptor during a 2020 interview in Akron.

Bird figures will appear to fly up the 25-foot sculpture, he said. Stainless steel was chosen for the body because of its reflective properties – which Drumm says will bring different looks to the artwork depending on atmospheric conditions. While many of his works are representations of the sun itself, this one is inspired by sunlight.

“The sun plays a big role in interest, beauty – seeing shapes and what you have,” Drumm said. “And as the sun moves across the sky, the sculpture almost looks like a movie screen. The shadows cast and move and, if it’s a dull day or a rainy day, it won’t have not the same appearance as on a sunny day.”

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In a press release, Mayor Don Walters said the city was pleased to partner with Drumm on the project.

“We know that public art has a positive impact on community health and tourism and can serve as an economic engine in towns like Cuyahoga Falls,” Walters said. The park, which overlooks the Cuyahoga River, is adjacent to the Sheraton Suites hotel.

Public Arts Council 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 arts-rich areas,” Krochka said.

Drumm said much of the work to complete the project will involve Cuyahoga Falls businesses. While assembly at the park is expected to begin this fall, he said circumstances involving sourcing the necessary materials could push completion into winter.

Drumm also said the design includes night lighting – with different creative effects to complement holidays and seasons.

“Too often you see things that don’t add up at night,” Drumm said. “We’re going to try to play, once it’s in place, with the idea of ​​making it as interesting at night as it is during the day.”

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