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Art for the Park

The bronze, 6-foot ‘Marathoners’ sculptures will be on display in Flat Branch Park before its opening for the Roots ’n’ Blues festival
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:58 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008
Larry Young looks over pieces from past projects on a workbench at his studio in Columbia. Young considered living in New York but decided to settle in Columbia and visit New York frequently for shows. “As a sculptor, sometimes you have to go outside your own community to be successful,” he said.

Standing in the sun, two forms held their mark, poised, waiting for movement. One stood absorbing the heat into its dark sheen, while the other reflected it into the open air.

The two fluid sculptures, titled “Marathoners” when paired, will rest in the center of Flat Branch Park Phase Two, between Locust and Elm streets. The sculptures will be on display before the park opens for the Roots ’n’ Blues Festival, Sept. 7-8.

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The varied finish is only temporary, said Larry Young, artist and creator of the piece. The “Marathon Woman” is still lacking her patina finish, which protects bronze sculptures against aging and color.

Creating a complementary piece to his existing work, “Marathon Man,” Young said he tried to represent the movement of the MKT Trail and enhance the park overall.

“My initial thought was to have one on either side of the park, like they were running the trail.” Young said. “But I decided they work better together.”

The placement of the roughly 6-foot sculptures together creates a conversation between the pieces, Young said.

“I had the woman running a little behind the man,” Young said. “But I think it fits better to have her running a bit ahead, tucked in under his right arm. The reflection of the light brings it all together, it accentuates the negative space as well as the form.”

The city is funding the installment of the sculptures, but “Marathoners” was donated by First National Bank & Trust Co.

Standing next to the bridge, the sculptures will hold a place of prominence in Flat Branch Park, Young said.

“It’ll be visible when you’re running on the trail, when you go under the roads there on either side,” Young said. “It’ll be in the center of the park area. It should be an interesting visual impact.”

Young said he always hopes his work ends up in the community, as large-scale public art.

“It’s a nice addition to the park down there,” Young said.


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