City receives Benton sculpture for Trago Park

(Source: Office of the Mayor)
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced the gift of an outdoor sculpture to be placed in Trago Park at 22nd and “U” Streets. The large steel abstract sculpture from the estate of California artist Fletcher Benton is called “Tilted Donut No. 7 – Broken Line.” The sculpture will arrive Lincoln in mid-October and will be installed later this month.

The gift was arranged by two members of Public Art Lincoln who were friends of the artist --businessman Robert Duncan and the former Director of the Sheldon Art Museum George Neubert.

“This monumental piece by a well-known artist is a wonderful addition to our City’s growing collection of public art,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “I want to thank Robert, George and Public Art Lincoln for making this donation possible.”

Benton is recognized for his large metal sculptures comprised of precisely crafted geometric forms. He was a university professor in California from the 1960s through the 1980s. Benton began as an abstractionist painter and then moved into creating large abstract metal sculptures later in his career. He died on June 26, 2019 in San Francisco.

The sculpture is part of a series of large metal sculptures. The “donut” in the title refers to a round open-holed form at the center of the sculpture. The sculpture is made of Corten, a type of steel designed to form a rust-like appearance when exposed to weather. It weighs about 5,500 pounds and is 28 feet high, 18 feet long and 12 feet wide. The sculpture was on display in Vancouver, British Columbia between 2009 and 2011.

In placing the sculpture, Public Art Lincoln reviewed a number of locations identified in the City’s Public Art Master Plan. An updated version of the plan was approved by the City Council in May. Trago Park was chosen because of its landscaping and visibility to visitors, walkers and bikers on the Antelope Valley Trail, and drivers on Antelope Valley Parkway. Public Art Lincoln is using private funds to pay for the transportation of the sculpture to Lincoln and will organize a public event to celebrate the gift later this fall.

The Public Art Master Plan and additional information are available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: public art).