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The Chandler Bikeway gains bronze sculpture

December 03, 2005|By By Lauren Hilgers

BURBANK -- The Chandler Bikeway in Burbank is a place of constant action -- people running, walking, and riding bikes. A bronze sculpture might seem out of place in the midst of all the activity, but the piece of art that Burbank city officials unveiled on Friday morning fits right in.

"My favorite part is the wagon," said 8-year-old Aaron Sowell, who stood nearly eye-to-eye with the two bronze children pushing a small wagon.

Created by Florida artist Stanley Proctor, the sculpture captures the two children and their two dogs, one of which has been placed in the wagon and is being carted along. The children are leaning against the weight of the wagon, moving with the rest of the walkers and riders using the bike path.

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"I think it's a very friendly piece," Proctor said. "It goes well most anywhere -- it's just as comfortable in someone's yard as it is in a public setting."

Proctor explained he often sculpts children, and many of his pieces are intended for the benefit of children.

"I feel very strongly that these things should be accessible to young people," he said. "Most of the time they get to observe art from behind a red hanging rope. I try to do pieces that they can interact with."

The city was of the same mind when it chose to place the sculpture at the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Kenwood Street, behind Thomas Edison Elementary School.

"We figure we're going to get a lot of students walking by," said Eric Hanson, director of Parks and Recreation, patting one sturdy dog on its nose.

Teresa Valdivieso, a member of the Friends of the Chandler Bikeway, a community group dedicated to maintaining and improving the path, said she thought the subject matter was very appropriate.

"This really reflects what this bike path is about," Valdivieso said. "You see whole families walking along; you see kids riding their bikes; you see ladies sitting on benches watching people go by. People come out here at all times, day or night."

The sturdy figures are also a sign that the city is invested in its future, said Burbank Mayor Jef Vander Borght.

"Public art represents for us as a city and a community ... the optimism that we have for the future," Vander Borght said. "This will be the first of many sculptures along the pathway."

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