3/11/2010 10:59:00 PM Tsunami group selling bronze Waddell sculpture
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
A sculpture by artist John Waddell titled “Earth and Space, Detail” sits on display at the Van Gogh’s Ear Gallery in Prescott. The bronze relief was donated by the Herberger Foundation in Scottsdale. All proceeds from “Earth and Space, Detail” will go to Tsunami on the Square.
By Bruce Colbert The Daily Courier
PRESCOTT - About two or three years ago, the Scottsdale-based Herberger Foundation donated two sculptures to Prescott's Tsunami on the Square. The pieces were part of a massive sculptural grouping made by world-renowned sculptor John Waddell.
"We sold one right away, but kept the other one as a back-up, sort of a rainy day fund," said Andrew Johnson-Schmit, Tsunami executive director. "In case you haven't noticed, it's a rainy day for nonprofit groups."
The sculpture is on display at Van Gogh's Ear fine art gallery, 156 S. Montezuma St., on Prescott's Whiskey Row.
"We have always supported Tsunami," said Joanne Frerking, gallery administrator. "Juanita Carlson was with us when we started this gallery, and she is with Tsunami, so she asked us if we would sell it."
In 2009, Waddell finished the 32-piece, 16-by-44-foot bas-relief sculpture, "Rising," of which Tsunami's piece, "Earth & Space, Detail," was a part. The "Earth" piece consists of five nude women dancing in a semi-circle.
"It's really beautiful," said Catherine Crow, gallery art consultant. "We love having it here."
"Not everyone can afford a Waddell, but this attracts attention and lets people know that this nonprofit needs help," Johnson-Schmit said. "It's a real fight just to keep the lights on for nonprofits."
Tsunami on the Square, which started in 1998, resembles a one-day and night Mardis Gras filled with live music, skits, electric light shows, fire dancers, comics and a parade comprised mostly of children and young adults.
This year's day of zaniness is June 19.
"People forget that a lot of the things that make Yavapai County and Prescott what they are, are because of nonprofits," Johnson-Schmit said. "Things like Tsunami help make Prescott a place where you want to raise your kids or relocate a business."
Johnson-Schmit said that when the Tsunami board of directors decided to sell the sculpture, they wanted to sell it locally.
"We could have put it on eBay or sold it fast from a Scottsdale gallery, but that's not what it's about," he explained. "It's about community. We can't abandon the values that helped the nonprofits into being."
Frerking said that each year Van Gogh's Ear tries to be a major sponsor of Tsunami. "So, we also felt the gallery was a good place to offer the sculpture."
"When you've got a business looking to move or open somewhere, and they see one town with no art or culture, and another one flush with it, they're going to pick the town with culture," Johnson-Schmit said. "Culture tips the balance every time."
Window shoppers can view the sculpture through the gallery's window, but its real beauty is visible up-close in person. Frerking said that interested collectors could ask about the sale price from one of the gallery associates.
"I'm hoping they (Tsunami) get enough money from it to carry them through another year," she said.
For more information about Tsunami on the Square, visit www.tsunamionthesquare.org.