Leesburg Council Approves Caulkins Tribute, ArtsPark Sculptures

The Town Council voted unanimously April 10 to support the installation of a bronze bench sculpture honoring the late Stanley Caulkins. The sculpture will be privately funded, with the Friends of Leesburg Public Art leading the effort. The sculpture will be located outside the former Caulkins Jewelers’ space on King Street, now the home to Black Hoof Brewing. The project’s advocates hope to have it installed in time for Caulkins’ Oct. 6 birthday.

The council’s vote to approve the next round of sculptures at Raflo Park not unanimous.

Vice Mayor Suzanne Fox and councilmen Josh Thiel and Tom Dunn voted against the installation of five new sculptures at Raflo Park. In comments explaining their votes, both Thiel and Dunn pointed to the selected art itself.

“I’d like to see something more welcoming than something I could pull together in bits and pieces from a junkyard,” Dunn, who noted that he took a 3-D art class in college, said. “I think the industrial nature of this art might be more fitting in a different setting than what we’ve had to date.”

Thiel, who lives in the Crescent Place neighborhood across from the park, also said he was not a fan of the art and noted that his neighbors have voiced a preference for open space at the park, rather than a sculpture garden.

But Mayor Kelly Burk, who was on the prevailing side of the vote, noted, “art is in the eye of the beholder.”

“That’s what art is about—to make us think,” she said.

The new sculptures will be installed by July 1.

Leave a Reply