Collaborative effort returns 'Shad Run' sculpture to public display
The stainless steel "Shad Run" sculpture was created by Seattle artist Joseph McDonnell and unveiled by Public ARTWORKS in 2005, intended as a welcoming landmark at Third and Market streets. When the Lycoming County Visitors Bureau and Little League International decided in 2014 to commission "Bases Loaded," a baseball diamond in Market Square, complete with bronze "players" frozen in midgame – including a stray fielder along the Penn College entranceway – the artwork was put into storage at the River Valley Transit bus garage.
Public ARTWORKS (a committee of Lycoming Arts) took ownership of it last year, realizing immediately that the sculpture would need some cleaning and restorative work ... as well as a new home. Charles Imbro and Tony Ecker, owners of The Brickyard Restaurant & Ale House and Stonehouse Wood Fired Pizza & Pasteria, graciously agreed to host the sculpture, and the quest for renovation was under way.
"Because of my long employment history with Penn College, and knowing the expertise of the faculty and students, I contacted President Davie Jane Gilmour with an idea to enlist these experts in the restoration and installation of the sculpture as a community service project, and she willingly agreed," Lenore G. Penfield, special events assistant to the president, told those assembled for the rededication.
After moving the stainless steel sculpture to campus, she explained, collision repair instructor Roy H. Klinger cleaned and returned it to mint condition. From there, Michael R. Allen, the co-department head of welding and metal fabrication technologies, enlisted the help of three welding and fabrication engineering technology students to adapt the original standing piece so it could be installed as a wall sculpture: Jeremy D. Carlson, of Russell; Matthew G. Johnson, of Newburgh, New York; and Karl W. Machamer, of Lebanon.
It was concurrently determined that the text on the old kiosk sign originally accompanying the piece was outdated, so Penfield contacted graphic design instructor Nicholas L. Stephenson to enlist students in creating a new plaque. Two graphic design majors spearheaded that project: Alexa C. Henry, of Conshohocken, and Kaylee A. Smith, of East Stroudsburg.
"Their attractive sign, appropriately adorned with a running shad, now informs visitors about the sculpture and how its subject relates to the Susquehanna Valley," Penfield said. "What began as a collaborative community project in 2004, ended with a similar collaborative effort between college and community members to restore this beautiful piece and place it on display for all to enjoy once again."