New Public Art Sculpture to Reflect Town’s Industrial Beginnings and Mark Sestercentennial.

New Public Art Sculpture to Reflect Town’s Industrial Beginnings and Mark Sestercentennial.

Visitors to historic Ellicott City will soon see a new, imaginative sculptural element on the side of the old Ellicott Theatre that speaks to the town’s industrial beginnings and the importance of its rivers. Entitled “Waterwheel” the original artwork was funded by Art in Ellicott City and created by Baltimore-based sculptor David Hess. The installation of the sculpture is on track for early November.

Approved by Howard County’s Historic Preservation Commission in 2021, Art in Ellicott City President Kim Egan spearheaded the application and EC250 enthusiastically supported the proposal. Once complete, the group believes it will create a unique visual attraction both day and night at the intersection of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike. Its design both compliments the narrative of the founding of Ellicott City and depicts its history. An educational, interpretive placard that illustrate the mechanisms of a working grist mill similar to those central to the town’s earliest economy, will accompany the piece at street level.,

“Waterwheel” sculptor DAVIS HESS pictured at his studio with primary element for the town’s new public art sculpture.

Hess has completed over twenty public art commissions in and around Maryland and Washington D.C. He most recently completed an installation at Greensboro Science Center in North Carolina entitled “Relativity.” Perhaps his most recognized local public art work is “Bird’s Nest,” a twisted, stainless-steel piece that clings to the brick façade of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Unique to his Ellicott City piece is a low light element that creates a subtle transformation of the sculpture at night.

David’s interest in Ellicott City first began when he visited as a child in elementary school. That interest continued into adulthood and even spread to his daughter Sophie who chose Ellicott City as a topic for her Doctoral dissertation in American History at University of Maryland. Entitled “Hollow Ground: Industry, Ecology, and Climate Change in the Floodplains of Early Maryland” Sophie’s archival research helped inform the design for the sculpture.

In preparation for the installation an old mural located on the wall was removed and the underlying surface re-parged.  Local artist Antonia Ramis Miguel will paint the renewed surface to recreate the look of the surrounding brick wall. Ms. Miguel was previously commissioned to paint the mural now on the side of the Sweet Elizabeth Jane shop as a result of Art in Ellicott City’s 2018 mural competition.  Art in Ellicott City is also responsible for securing the return of the town’s beloved Eggplant sculpture by Jan Kirsh. A favorite selfie spot among visitors!

Comments (0)

Write a Comment