FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – “This corner was screaming for something,” said the artist of the new sculpture at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory in downtown Fort Wayne.
On Wednesday, the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department unveiled their newest addition to the downtown Fort Wayne area: a 36 foot tall sculpture designed to celebrate the botanical life explored inside the conservatory.
“We started this project about four [or] five years ago. Did a couple of renditions of how we were going to do some kind of art here at this corner. It wasn’t the original plan that we had, but I think what we got is just a great addition,” said Steve McDaniel, director of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation.
The final sculpture created by Cary Shafer consists of a mix of limestone and steel. It features a steel ornament abstraction of a plant stamen, framed by two large limestone blades. It was carved from 24 blocks of Indiana limestone and weighs nearly 20,000 pounds.
“I have been thinking about this for a year and a half. I have built it, rebuilt it, redesigned it hundreds of times in my head. So, when it came time to finally execute it, I was pretty certain of how everything was going to go together,” Shafer said.
The sculpture sits outside the main door at the conservatory, located at 1100 S. Calhoun St.
McDaniel and Shafer said they hope the new downtown art brings experiences and opportunities for residents and tourists to explore downtown Fort Wayne.
“I’m hoping people feel something. I hope it hopefully makes them smile… It makes me feel good, so that would be a nice. It make me feel successful if other people felt good about it,” Shafer said.