By WILLIAM PAINE
Beginning in early May, an art installation comprised entirely of ladders will begin to slowly rise from the center of Pulaski’s Jackson Park.
The size and scope of this ladder sculpture depends entirely on how many ladders will be collected between now and Saturday May 6, when artist Charlie Brouwer plans to put the finishing touches on the Together We Rise: Pulaski project.
Where will all these ladders come from?
The ladders are borrowed from residences and businesses of this community – That is to say from people like You, Dear Reader!
The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley is sponsoring the Together We Rise: Pulaski art installation and is currently collecting ladders that will become a part of this artwork.
Ladders of all sizes are now being accepted at the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley at 21 West Main Street in Pulaski. All ladders will be accepted including toy ladders, tiny ladders, handmade ladders or even ladders that bear a strong resemblance to stepstools!
Those wanting to personalize their ladders in some creative fashion are welcome to do so because this is, after all, an art project.
All ladders used for Together We Rise: Pulaski will be duly tagged and recorded and then returned to their owners … unless the owner wants to donate the ladder, and that’s OK, too.
Charlie Brouwer, the artist/sculptor who conceived this idea, has designed and built several of these “Rise Up” ladder sculptures in cities like Atlanta, Chattanooga, Roanoke and Bluefield, Va. Each of these ladder sculptures is intended to reflect the community where it’s being erected and so no two have the same design.
Brouwer attaches these ladders together using heavy duty zip ties and, according to the artist, this method has proven to be more than adequate in producing structures that are both safe and secure.
The final form of the Together We Rise: Pulaski art installation has yet to be determined but Brouwer has already expressed an interest in creating a ladder sculpture that has an entrance leading to an interior space. Being inside of a work of art made from a sprawling framework of ladders should provide an interesting perspective for those who venture inside. Together We Rise: Pulaski might hold the added benefit of bringing curious outsiders into town to check out this unique art installation.
“In the art world, when we think of beauty, we often think that it’s visual,” said Brouwer. “In this project, the beauty is in the whole process. Each ladder joins the hopes and dreams of the whole community.”
Charlie Brouwer, with the assistance of a local artist named Barry Keller, will begin work on the ladder sculpture starting on Monday May, 1. Brouwer and Keller will be working on the sculpture from 3 p.m. till 7 p.m. all that week until the final ladder is put in place on the evening of Saturday May, 6.
The Together We Rise: Pulaski art installation will remain in Jackson Park until Friday, June 2, when it will be disassembled and stored at the Fine Arts Center for the NRV. Ladders can be picked up from the Fine Arts Center the following week.
Until then –Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of this once in a lifetime community art project, as it will most likely be Charlie Brouwer’s final Rise Up project.
Ladders may be dropped off at the Fine Arts Center for the NRV at 21 West Main Street from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Someone there will register and tag the lent ladder.
Those who would like to lend a ladder for Together We Rise: Pulaski but need someone to pick up that ladder for them are encouraged to call the Fine Arts Center at (540) 980-7363 or (540) 577-5917 or email at email@example.com and arrangements will be made to pick your ladder up.
Individuals are also encouraged to learn more by visiting the Fine Arts Center for the NRV website, which provides a link to sign up for the Together We Rise: Pulaski project.