Wednesday, July 1, 2009
A Call to Action
The Don Wiegand Studio
A while back, I blogged about a friend who is an incredible sculpter, Don Wiegand. Little did I know then that a storm was brewing that threatens to destroy the work of a lifetime.
There is a move underway to condemn Don's studio and property, and level it in order to fortify an existing levee in the Chesterfield, Missouri valley area. Don't get me wrong, I'm for protecting people from floods. However, I'm also for protecting a site that has historical and artistic significance. Especially since it appears there is an alternative means to gain the same end. Is it more expensive? Yes. But isn't it better than simply taking Don's home and studio? I believe it is.
Don often says his place and work exist not just for him, but for everyone who visits there. And oh, the visitors he's had, from the most famous to the most humble. Every person leaves with a sense that a tiny piece of the place belongs to them, too. They can see, touch, and marvel at what has evolved from a decaying slaughterhouse to a showplace over the course of 45 years work. It's been rebuilt after fire and flood. And it stands as proudly today as it will in the future if action is taken to stop this deliberate threat.
I urge those of you who support the arts, who believe in the individual rights of a property owner, and who reject the notion that it doesn't matter what happens as long as the job is done, to write or call local authorities and urge them to Save Our Studio. For more details than I can include in this post please check Don's website.
Government is big and powerful. But so are miracles.