By: Katie Egan
FORT MYERS - Internationally recognized German-born sculptor Rainer Lagemann visited the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center last season and got inspired.
"He fell in love with the center and asked what he could do to help," Executive Director Jim Griffith said. "He gave us a choice (of sculptures to choose from) and asked us to pick three."
Those sculptures are the first residents of what will be a rooftop reception area. Griffith says he hopes the new acquisition will inspire other artists when they come to the center at 2301 First St. in Fort Myers.
"I hope the level of his talent and recognition will inspire other equally talented artists," Griffith said.
For now, center patrons only will be able to view the sculptures from one of the second-floor windows. "They're almost straight on (from the window)," Griffith said. "The closest one is about 20 feet away."
The "Hanging On" sculpture is 82 by 36 inches.
The "Flight of Fancy" sculpture is 72 by 32 inches.
The "Athlete" is 84 by 63 inches.
Once the rooftop reception area is open, the center's guests will get a more up-close-and-personal view of the cast action figures.
"I use metal squares to sculpt the human form, creating works that elicit both the strength and delicacy of the body," Lagemann said on his website, Lagemann now lives in San Francisco.
Using carefully placed, hollow, metal squares, Lagemann sculpted the human forms in various motions depicting what he calls timeless gestures and feelings. The four corners of each square represent the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual dimensions of a human being, the news release on the sculptures said. The hollowness of each square, according to the news release, "helps the viewer leave distractions behind and explore the body while still pondering its strength and delicacy."
The Art Center is completing Phase III of its restoration — adding two floors to the building, including a rooftop reception area, three-story exterior emergency egress stair tower, catering kitchen and artist's greenroom and dressing rooms on the mezzanine floor.
On the second floor there will be a new gallery, classrooms, audio/video recording studio and administrative offices. On the upper floor, guests will find a new multipurpose space for exhibits, visual and performing arts education, recitals, plays and other group events included in the next programming season.
The Art Center will be open to the public in September for its sixth season. Phase IV will begin immediately after Phase III is completed.
The center plans to host a grand opening Sept. 5 for the Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk.
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