The sculpture will serve as an uplifting focal point at an important gateway to Torrington from the Litchfield area and points west. The sculpture was funded by a generous grant received from the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation. Brooker received the news that we were awarded this grant in 2021 and a committee of board members, corporators and employees was formed to develop a competitive selection process and ultimately select an artist for the project. The committee included: Charles V. Beyer, Tyson Chamberlin, Cathy Coyle, Brenda DiCarlo, Lisa Ferris, James Fontana, Judith McElhone and Alan Temkin. A “call for artwork” was sent out to dozens of artists, both local and from around the country. The call specified the piece of artwork should “be head-turning to passerby and engaging to all who are children at heart! It went on to say this art should represent the kind of joy that Brooker brings to the community, it should make a loud statement that we exist for the good of the community, should have capacity to be appreciated from near or far and should beg to be photographed, especially with smiling, happy children around it and loving families enjoying its beauty.
The committee ultimately selected Clayton Swartz, a sculptor from Pinellas Park, Florida. Mr. Swartz is an accomplished artist who creates vibrant and inspirational aluminum sculptures for public art, corporations and private collectors around the country.
At the same time Brooker was planning its sculpture project, the city applied for and became the third official cultural district in the state. According to Brooker Executive Director Cathy Coyle, Brooker’s property and the sculpture were purposely included in this newly established district. She says, “We are thrilled to present this significant public art project to the community. Having it be included within the cultural district lends credibility and exposure.”
Brooker Memorial is excited to share this piece of artwork with its families and the community. Brooker Memorial is grateful to the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation for making this public art project possible.
Brooker is excited to share our sculpture with the community and is proud to be a part of Torrington’s cultural district.
Here is what the pieces looked like before the final: