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Lee Gobble sculpture project: Mark Shafer on the foundation tiles artwork

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Published on Mar 14, 2017

Video produced by Werner Elmker Audio-Visual Studio • elmker.com

Fairfield Arts Association plans bronze sculpture of Lee Gobble for Fairfield

The Fairfield Art Association will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year - and what better way to mark the milestone than with a new life size bronze sculpture for our community.

"We are excited to announce that Christopher Bennett, the same artist we brought to town in the late 1970s to create "William Coop & Friend" for the Fairfield square, and in 1986 "Leapfrog" for the Carnegie Building lawn, has been commissioned to do another bronze figure sculpture that will placed in front of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. The project will involve another native artist, Ken Rowe in modeling parts of the figure, and collaboration with Mark Shafer on historical details & design, along with Harri Aalto in tile creation."

The FAA board sets aside money each year in a public art fund. That money was directed to building the FACC for nearly ten years, with the purpose of having a new home for the FAA. Since then the board has been saving for a new public art piece.

"Lee T. Gobble, Mr. Fairfield" is our new commissioned sculpture and will grace the front lawn of the FACC and forever glance at the Courthouse Steeple he succeeded in replacing. Most everyone in town knew Lee, who passed away at 100 years old in April of this year. There are countless stories about Lee; his family's clothier establishment since 1853, his unique style and quirkiness, his generosity, relationship with Parson College and love of Fairfield.

If all goes according to plan, fundraising included, the sculpture could be completed and installed by fall 2016. Raising funds will include securing a public art grant, donations, memorials, fundraising events, and the money already put aside by the FAA for public art. The FAA has recently received a $500 grant for this project from the Fairfield Cultural Alliance. The FAA will need to raise $36,500, and invites donations from anyone that appreciates art, the memory of Lee Gobble, or agrees with the recent "Community Assessment & Recommendations" stating "we would encourage…. more public art throughout the community… especially downtown. We could imagine Fairfield being known for its public art installations in years to come."

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