HISTORY OF OUR STATURE
In 2021, Brooker Memorial received news that the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation would provide funding for a public art project on its Litchfield Street property. The goal of the project was to commission a sculpture that would serve as an uplifting focal point at an important gateway to Torrington from the Litchfield area and points west.
Brooker organized a committee of board members, corporators, and employees 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 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 the 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 received twenty-eight submissions of sculpture ideas. The committee worked diligently to narrow the field to two artists whom they interviewed and learned more about their proposed sculptures. The committee ultimately selected Clayton Schwartz, 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 second 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 our sculpture included within the cultural district lends credibility and exposure.”
On September 22, 2022, Brooker Memorial, together with representatives of the Robert R. Rosenheim Foundation, presented the sculpture to the community. Nearly 60 community members gathered on the lawn at Brooker to witness the unveiling of the artwork.
Pre-schoolers from the Brooker Child Care and Learning Center gathered around the covered sculpture and sang a song. Next, three Torrington Firefighters and their ladder truck slowly lifted the tarp to reveal the beautiful bright colors of the heart-themed sculpture. The audience cheered as the full impact of the 14-foot-tall sculpture became apparent. The sculpture was created by Florida artist Clayton Swartz. It is made from aluminum and painted with automotive paint and clear coated to preserve the vibrancy of the colors. The sculpture is meant to be enjoyed from near and far. The lowest heart is designed for photo-taking. We welcome community members to visit the sculpture, enjoy its beauty, and take pictures. #brookermemorial
NAME OUR SCULPTURE CONTEST
Now that the sculpture is revealed, we think it deserves a name! We are inviting the community to submit names in our Naming Contest. The winner will be selected by the sculpture committee and will receive a prize, including gift certificates for Torrington area restaurants and regional and local family-friendly activities!
The deadline is November 30, 2022.