City to add sculpture in Giorgetti
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | December 29,2012
Rick Rothrock displays his then-incomplete sculpture “Oculus” in September 2010. The work is being donated to Ruland City.
Giorgetti Park will get a unique timepiece next year.
The park will become the new home to “Oculus,” a marble sculpture that the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland will donate to the city. The sculpture is intended for the entrance of Giorgetti Park, near the beginning of the bike trail.
Carving Studio executive director Carol Driscoll said the organization’s board of trustees chose Oculus from among the works produced during its 2010 Vermont Marble Sculpture Symposium.
“They felt it was the most appropriate because of the function, being able to relate to the seasons and the agricultural heritage of the community,” she said.
Driscoll said Oculus serves as a sundial but that its shadow indicates not just the time of day, but the time of year. She said a time-lapse video would show the shadow completing a figure-eight as the seasons change. The piece is the work of 62-year-old Delaware sculptor Rick Rothrock.
“At the time I was working on a couple concepts that had to do with our position on the Earth and celestial mechanics,” he said. “I like to think of the contradiction of, it looks big but it’s not big at all — it’s only big compared to somebody standing next to it.”
Oculus is about 10 feet tall and Driscoll guessed it weighs about 9 tons. Compared to the Earth and sun, whose relative positions it tracks, and the distance between the two, Rothrock noted that Oculus is tiny.
Rothrock also liked the idea of the sculpture being placed where people go to encounter nature because, tracking celestial movements, it represents nature on a much larger scale than people typically consider.
Rothrock’s other public sculptures include a monument to the signing of the Declaration of Independence at the Delaware Capitol Building in Dover, Del., and several in various locations around his hometown of Wilmington, Del.
Recreation Superintendent EJay Bishop said the city looked at a number of locations, including some downtown, before settling on Giorgetti.
“We felt that this particular piece needs a lot of sunlight,” he said. “We thought the perfect site was the entrance to Giorgetti and it sort of doubles as the entrance to the Creek Path.”
Bishop said he expected the city would need to put down some sort of concrete base and the department was working on the calculations to make sure Oculus is angled properly.
“It’s a beautiful piece of sculpture,” he said. “It’s going to be a nice addition to the public art that exists in the city.”
Driscoll said the Carving Studio was proud to add the donation to the ways it is observing its 25th anniversary.
“We are celebrating a marker,” she said. “It’s a way of saying ‘thank you and come see us.’”