Arts & Entertainment

'Spirits' Lifted: Sculptor Hammond's Creations Highlight New Summit Public Art Installations

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Phyllis Hammond's Streaming Spirits sculpture at Summit City Hall Credits: Diane Gallo
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SUMMIT, NJ - Phyllis Baker Hammond's 'Streaming Spirits II', a large, multicolored piece that now graces lawn of the Summit Free Public Library, is one of several new installations this fall from The Mayor’s Partnership for Public Art, better known as Summit Public Art.

The group has recently installed several other visually exciting sculptures around Summit, found in places such as the lawns at City Hall, the Promenade and the Lyric Park in downtown, the Village Green, the Tulip Street triangle across from Brayton School, and the Elm Street triangle.

Hammond is a renowned international artist whose career has been influenced by a circle of abstract expressionist colleagues. Her creations convey playfulness, elegance, and delight through their wonderful interplay of form and color. Hammond works in powder-coated aluminum and is featured at two other sites: Streaming Spirits and Cosmos I, an orange sculpture, which bring lively color to the City Hall grounds. Vivian Furman Rubin and Julian Rubin are the sponsors of the City Hall site., while the Library site is made possible through support from the Pardo family.

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The three aluminum columns in the Promenade, Solar Totems (2016), are by Richard Pitts and reflect the artist’s love of materials and how, like music, they can be crafted and composed into works that evoke emotions. Pitts has shown his work in Summit over the years. Debi and Fred Schwarzmann are sponsors of this site.

Jay Lagemann is a prolific sculptor whose work reflects his imagination and joy for life through his depiction of animals as abstract forms in vivid colors. Deer Park (2005) is a colorful piece in painted steel that imagines some of the fauna seen in our own backyards. The sculpture is installed on the Tulip Street triangle, across from Myrtle Avenue, the installation sponsored by Jessica Oppenheim and Martin Burke.

Shadow Migrations (2015-16), by Wendy Klemperer, are a series of plate steel sculptures, which can be seen in multiple locations. These installations address how wildlife, threatened in the 20th Century, is re-emerging in the wilderness, in suburbs, and even in urban areas. Some sculptures are on the Village Green and others are in Lyric Park and on the Elm Street triangle. This art was made possible by the support of My Life Documentaries as well as an anonymous donor.

Summit Public Art receives no public funds from the City of Summit to bring art to public places. To learn more about Summit Public Art, visit summitpublicart.org or email summitpublicarts@gmail.com

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