Central Bank of Boone County to remove public art piece “People”

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Central Bank of Boone County is removing public artwork “People” due to the artwork’s decay over time.

The artwork has been on 8th Street since 1971.

The bank tried to save the piece with the help of an expert in 2008 by attempting to alleviate the wear and tear on the unique materials but the piece has continued to deteriorate.

“We are faced with a terrible situation,” said Mary Wilkerson, senior vice president of marketing in a release. “The sculpture is actually ready to split into two, which is dangerous, and the materials used by the artist are considered toxic as well. We have to act soon or risk its collapse. ”

The sculpture was designed by Don Bartlett who used a form of liquid fiberglass to build the piece around an aluminum frame. Over the years, that fiberglass has become brittle and has required numerous repairs. Now, the foundational structure is at risk.

Bank officials are will be issuing a “request for qualifications” for artists interested in a new project slated for the space. Ideally, the bank wants a new piece in place before the end of 2022.

“It will be an incredibly sad day when ‘People’ is removed but the bank is committed to public art in that space,” said Wilkerson. “It is our intention to search for a new piece that will stand the test of time and be enjoyed for generations to come.”

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