“Gaze," Dearborn's beloved Mustang sculpture, will have a permanent home in the city thanks to a donation from the Kenwal Steel Corporation.
Mayor John B. O'Reilly, Jr. said Tuesday that Kenwal pledged to give $16,000 to the Dearborn Community Fund (DCF) in order to keep the statue at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.
Last week, the DCF announced that the city of Hastings made an offer to purchase the sculpture from artist James Oleson and planned to move it out of Dearborn. The sculpture has been on loan to the community since 2012 as part of the city’s "Art in Public Places – Midwest Sculpture Initiative." It was originally scheduled to remain in the city through April 2014 while the DCF developed a plan to raise the $16,000 in order to purchase it.
The offer from Hastings required the DCF to expedite its fundraising efforts and come up with a matching amount by Oct. 14.
David Bazzy, president and chief operating officer for Kenwal Steel, credits his wife Cherie for saving the statue.
"She heard about the fundraiser and asked if Kenwal could do anything to help out," Bazzy explained.
After talking with the DCF, Bazzy said it was apparent donors would not be able to raise enough money by the Oct. 14 deadline to keep "Gaze" in Dearborn.
"Our board decided to do something nice for the city and make a donation," Bazzy said. "People like the statue; it's majestic and it fits the spirit of Dearborn. Now our residents can enjoy it forever."
“Gaze” is made of recycled materials and found objects. It can be found at the south entrance to the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.