ASHLAND The City of Ashland is holding a dedication ceremony for the three bronze sculptures on Friday.
The dedication for the statues at the Port of Ashland will include a lighting ceremony and a presentation by the artist. An anonymous donor commissioned world-renowned Spanish artist Ginés Serrán-Pagán to create these structures for the donor’s hometown and memorialize three distinct parts of Ashland.
“I am so grateful that Serrán-Pagán’s magnificent statues will be part of Ashland’s riverfront landscape,” said City Manager Mike Graese. “The generosity of the donor is, in my opinion, reflective of Ashland’s giving spirit; I hope these statues will be a source of pride for our citizens today and in the decades to come.”
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 artists community.
“In Smalltown, America, (I can’t describe) how proud I am it’s in my hometown,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “I’m confident we will get tourists all over. It (the structures) has a lot of meaning to people that we aren’t even aware of yet.” The three-piece collection will be the largest combination of classical mythology and contemporary art in the United States. Venus is the largest female classical mythology state in the world, according to a press release from the city. The unique monuments mix traditional and contemporary styles in America. Genesis is designed based on images found at Ashland 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.
“He (Serrán-Pagán) picked up on our work ethic here and the industry we have had,” said Gilmore. “He said he never met more friendly people in the world. He makes me, as the mayor and a lifelong resident of Ashland, very proud.”
The three structures were molded with clay and then coated in fiberglass. They were bronzed and then sent n open containers to let the material weather.
Before the lighting ceremony, the city will host a presentation by Serrán-Pagán at the Paramount Arts Center at 6 p.m. It is open to the public. PAC doors will open at 5:30 p.m.
There will be a post-dedication ceremony on the main stage of the PAC hosted by the city and donor. There will be artist interview opportunities as well as catered food and live music.
The timeline for the events are:
5-5:30 p.m.: Artist will meet with press
5:30 p.m.: Main PAC doors open to the public
6 p.m.: Presentation by Ginés Serrán-Pagán (main stage)
6:50 p.m.: Conclude presentation; depart via bus to dedication ceremony (Riverfront Park)
7:15 p.m.: Dedication ceremony (Riverfront Park)
8 p.m.: First bus departs riverfront to post-dedication celebration (PAC main stage)
10 p.m.: Event ends
For more information about Ginés Serrán-Pagán visit serran-paganart.com.