On Thursday morning, the Sedalia Parks Art as Recreation Committee (SPARC) witnessed the installation of its first major art commission at the Heckart Community Center.

It is a piece called “Ground Control” by artist Nathan Pierce of Cape Girardeau.
Several City of Sedalia Public Works employees came together to make the installation happen. The artwork is a permanent piece and is now owned by the City.

“It's got that nice, small comfortable, small-town vibe to it, you know? People are friendly, you can walk anywhere you want to go. It's just got a nice, community vibe to it,” remarked Pierce about Sedalia.

As for his latest art piece, Pierce said he was awarded a commission to create a public art project to be placed on the Heckart grounds.

“This has been a long time coming,” said Pierce of his work, “part of an overarching series of work that I've been working on, off and on, for about 15 years. It revolves around the idea of communication. Think about what communication means to you as a community, then you can expand on that even further.”

“This sculpture kind of resembles abstract, playful satellites. Thinking about technology as a form of communication, and what that means for everybody. You know, we have cell phones in our pockets nowadays, and we can communicate with anybody, anywhere,” Pirece told KSIS.

“And my original narrative for this stuff was begging the question within myself, how well do I communicate to the people around me? And is technology a detriment to that connection we have with to another? That was my thought, and then wam, bam, we had a global pandemic, and technology was the one thing, in fact, that was able to keep us all together,” Pierce said.

Sedalia Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple said she was excited about the new bright orange sculpture at the Heckart.

“Everyone looks at art in a different way. But for me, we started this art committee (SPARC) a couple of years ago, with Terri Ballard, etc., so we're really fortunate to have a good SPARC Committee, so they went out, did an RFQ, for a piece of artwork for the Heckart Community Center, which we had in our budget for art. And the Park Board has been putting money in our budget just for art,” Epple told KSIS Thursday morning.

She noted that art destined for Hubbard Park will be arriving and installed sometime this fall. This was a two-year project, Epple said.

“We're looking at adding art to the parks every year,”Epple said, adding that her hope is that the City will add art to areas such as medians.

“It'll be hard to miss it when you go down Third Street,” Epple commented, adding that the orange color of the piece matches one of the colors in the Heckart logo. “You can't beat that. I think it's very fitting. The SPARC Committee was very excited by this piece. And I see it as kind of an anchor for the Heckart.”

“You can climb on it, take pictures with it, and everything like that,” Epple said.

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