Over the past two years since its inception, the Cobbham Triangle Park has established itself as a popular spot to gather and soak up both sunshine and public art. Last week, local artist Steve Sweetser donated and installed a towering new sculpture, “Venus Flower of Love.” His work joins sculptures by fellow metal artists Harold Rittenberry and Doug Makemson, as well as a mosaic wall by Krysia Ara and granite chess and ping-pong tables by Stan Mullins. The ginormous flower is an appropriate fit for the art park, which features a colorful Connect to Protect pollinator garden that promotes the use of native plants and is overseen by the Ladies’ Garden Club that was founded in the Cobbham neighborhood over a century ago.
A retired pipe-fitter by trade who learned to weld in the Army, Sweetser has been creating sculptural works for roughly a decade. Earlier this year, he debuted a 12-foot-tall kinetic sculpture named “Tree of Oneta” at the historic Southern Mill complex that was commissioned to commemorate W&A Engineering’s 20th anniversary and recent rehabilitation of its 118-year-old building. Like the “Tree of Oneta,” “Venus Flower of Love” demonstrates Sweetser’s clever knack for repurposing found metals, transforming well-pressure tanks, a silver bread basket and slices of bicycle chrome into a beautiful blossom.
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