Apr 1, 2022 - News

Schiller Park's floating sculptures will hang on

A sculpture of a rower hanging on a cable above a park lake.

Several of the unique sculptures at German Village's Schiller Park, including the popular Rower. Photo: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

For two years, the status of the Schiller Park sculptures hanging in peaceful suspension above its pathways and lake has, fittingly, been up in the air.

  • That will soon change, as the city of Columbus expects to install five permanent sculptures at the historic German Village park.

The intrigue: It's been a long and winding journey for the 23 unique sculptures brought to town on loan by Polish artist Jerzy Kędziora in late 2019.

  • The mesmerizing exhibit, entitled "Suspension: Balancing Art, Nature, and Culture," features a floating golfer mid-swing, acrobats "flying" through the air and even a recreation of the headless Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Context: The temporary showcase was supposed to last until March 2020, but the pandemic kept Kędziora's team from returning to collect the sculptures.

  • They've remained in the park ever since, to the delight of community members like Katharine Moore, chairwoman of the Friends of Schiller Park group.

What they're saying: "Keeping them was literally the only silver lining I found to the pandemic," Moore tells Axios.

Yes, but: Moore and others knew the day would come when the sculptures would be taken back to Europe.

  • Friends of Schiller Park organized a successful fundraising campaign of around $125,000, per the Dispatch, to commission Kędziora to make five new permanent pieces to hang in the park.
  • This includes near replicas of "The Rower" and "Girl With Yo Yo," the latter currently located near the southeast park entrance.

What's happening: The sculptures await perfunctory approval this month from the German Village Planning Commission and Columbus Art Commission before they can be installed.

  • Moore expects Kędziora to come in late April to retrieve the old sculptures and present the new ones.

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