ASHLAND The wait for three bronze sculptures to be placed at the Port of Ashland is almost over.
City leaders confirmed the three sculptures are finished and are expected to arrive in the city by the end of the summer.
The newest additions to the city of Ashland are massive works of art crafted by world-renowned artist Gines Serran-Pagan. The statues are named Vulcan, Venus and Genesis, and the city is planning for an unveiling to the public by late September.
“I think we will build a very strong arts community in our downtown,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “I think it will be something our community is extremely proud of when we get them up.”
The three bronze sculptures are expected to greatly enhance Ashland’s allure while advancing the city’s artistic offerings, drawing in art enthusiasts worldwide and allowing Ashland to grow into a comprehensive artist’s community. The monuments will be the first of their kind. They will be the largest series of sculptures (in one place) in the nation and the first to mix traditional and contemporary styles in America.
“These (sculptures) will put us on the map,” said Chris Pullem, economic development director for the city. “It puts on a stage that we haven’t been on before, and it is a stage no one else in Kentucky is on.”
In February, an anonymous donor gifted the city three sculptures created by Serran-Pagan. The monuments will stand over 40 feet high.
The structure will memorialize three distinct parts of Ashland.
Genesis is designed based on images found at Paul Blazer High School and is symbolic of the city’s faith-based community. Vulcan is depicted hammering on a forge, symbolic of the city’s history with metal and steel. Venus, Vulcan’s wife, offers an Ash tree, symbolizing the city’s natural beauty and love.
The three structures were molded with clay then coated in fiberglass. After Serran-Pagan bronzed the pieces they were placed in open containers to allow the material to weather on their trip from China.
The sculptures are expected to arrive in Ashland by late July or early August and then will be placed in storage so preparations to the area can be made.
City officials are currently planning an event to reveal the statues to the public. They are hoping to have a black tie event at the Paramount to showcase other work the artist has done before going to the Port of Ashland and uncovering the sculptures for the public to see.
Gilmore said the reaction from the community has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We have a major installment from a world renowned artist right here in northeast Kentucky,” Pullem said.