Top of the Morning, Aug. 6, 2014

Top of the Morning, Aug. 6, 2014

Advertised as the first new piece of art at Allerton Park since 1942, Ruth Gee's sculpture — "Reflective Moments" — is a big deal.

And we're not just talking weight.

"It takes five men to unload," Gee said. "I'd say about 350 pounds."

The significance is even heavier. There are more than 100 pieces of outdoor art at Allerton, but the collection has grown at a snail's pace. That makes Friday's unveiling — 5:30 p.m. near the visitor's center — noteworthy. The bronze beauty was selected by the Public Art League as appropriate for Allerton's setting. "It had to be a good fit," Allerton associate director Derek Peterson said.

Gee, who lives in Hastings, Mich., will return for Friday's ceremony. What should we know about her?

"I am a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, American, artist, public speaker, fixer, helper, MK (Missionary Kid)," she said. "I am a lover of the outdoors, designer, athlete, love to travel, adventurer ... well, that is enough! I never have time to be bored."

It took Gee 18 months to finish her first sculpture, which depicts a girl of 16 or 17 years old perched on a rock — and which Hastings police would admit is lifelike as it gets.

"We put it in city hall to store for a few days, and I had four policemen tell me they pulled their guns on it at night," she said. "I took that as a compliment."

When asked to describe "Reflective Moments," which will have a two-year run at Allerton with the option of a longer stay, Gee said:

"There are quiet moments that make up our lives. What do these moments reflect to others? What am I saying? Be brave, be kind, love God, be a true and be an accurate reflection, let beauty have space in our life, take time to be quiet, be authentic. What are others learning about life from me?"

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