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Giant 'Daddy Long Legs' Finds Temporary Home in Dearborn

John W. Parker's 14-foot sculpture can be viewed at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Military Street in west Dearborn.

"Daddy Long Legs" was designed by Pennsylvania artist John W. Parker.
"Daddy Long Legs" was designed by Pennsylvania artist John W. Parker.

Submitted by Leslie Herrick

A giant yellow spider is greeting visitors to downtown Dearborn just in time for Halloween.

“Daddy Long Legs” was created by sculptor John W. Parker and is Dearborn’s Art in Public Places featured sculpture for October.

Like many of Parker’s sculptures, “Daddy Long Legs” was inspired by his deep interest in and fascination with nature. The bright yellow steel piece situated on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Military Street in west Dearborn re-enforces Parker’s contention that outdoor sculptures “have to function in a comprehensive way as a drive-by experience, as strong and dynamic silhouettes.” They should intrigue, cause conversation and further exploration. The 14-foot sculpture weighs about 3,000 pounds.

Parker resides in Glenside, Penn. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Cleveland Institute of Art, and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Rinehart School of Sculpture in Baltimore, MD. His professional experience includes teaching at Interlochen Center for the Arts, serving as an artist-in-residence at The Greater Reston Arts Center in Virginia, and he currently serves as president of The Painted Garden.

His public and corporate installations can be seen at the Grand Rapids Arts Museum, the Borough of State College in Pennsylvania and the Skokie Northshore Sculpture Park in Illinois.

“Daddy Long Legs,” priced at $20,000, will remain on exhibit in Dearborn until April 2014. It is one of 12 sculptures that have been placed throughout the city as part of the community’s 2013-2014 Art in Public Places - Midwest Sculpture Initiative.

Funding for the project is provided by the Dearborn Community Fund and the East and West Dearborn Downtown Development Authorities. Each month a different sculpture and sculptor are highlighted.

The DCF is a 501(c)3 organization, and gifts toward purchase of a sculpture for permanent public installation are tax deductible.

“I Spy Dearborn’s Art in Public Places” cards include photos and locations for all 12 sculptures and are available upon request.

For more information on the sculpture initiative, including price and purchase information for any sculpture included in the 2013-14 exhibition, call the DCF office at 313-943-5478.

Dawn S. October 15, 2013 at 09:31 AM
All this piece caused me was confusion. I have no idea what the artist is trying to say or tell me or even what this thing is. (At one point I thought I detected the shapes of Christmas card type angels with trumpets...) And as for the Downtown Development Authority financing any of this stuff - I voted to support the DIA and the Zoo - NOT for cities to skim funds for this! If I want to support Art in Public Places, I'll vote for it.

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