Big Rapids to welcome new sculpture by artist Ivan Iler

In February, artist Ivan Iler previewed his sculpture “Black Bear Up a Tree” to the Big Rapids community at Artworks. On Wednesday, June 19, Iler and his team will install the piece on an island off the Riverwalk near the Big Rapids Bandshell. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Members of the community are invited to welcome a new piece of public art to the city of Big Rapids this week.

Over the past year, Ivan Iler, of St. Johns, has been creating his sculpture “Black Bear Up a Tree,” which is to be installed for people to view on a small island along the Riverwalk in the Muskegon River near the Big Rapids Bandshell.

Now, Iler and his team are scheduled to bring the piece, featuring the figure of a bear made of metal, to the city on Wednesday, June 19.

City Manager Mark Gifford explained the sculpture was commissioned as part of the 2019 Festival of the Arts, and he is excited to see the project finally come full circle.

“We’re super excited about this,” he said. “Ivan has created such a unique piece of art for us.”

While installation is likely to take most of the day, a presentation of “Black Bear Up a Tree” is set for Wednesday evening, and will be hosted by the Festival of the Arts Board.

Taking place in conjunction with the sculpture presentation at the bandshell will be a free concert by the Ferris Community Summer Band, with the performance beginning at 7 p.m.

The installation and presentation of the sculpture is weather-dependent.

“Art enriches people’s lives, and public art certainly has the ability to do that,” Gifford said. “I think a lot of people appreciate having art pieces in the community that everyone can enjoy.”

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Posted by Taylor Fussman

Taylor is the cops and courts reporter for the Pioneer and Herald Review newspapers. She can be reached at (231) 592-8362 or by email at tfussman@pioneergroup.com.

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