If you’ve driven past Bicentennial Park on South Henry Street, you'll have noticed a new addition to the scenery. In the park, a bronze sculpture of a cedar waxwing with a berry in its mouth greets passersby.
This sculpture, “Cedar Waxwing,” created by David Turner, was gifted to the City of Williamsburg by the Triangle Arts & Culture League as part of its Public Arts Project.
Terry Buntrock, founder and president of the group, said the sculpture cost $25,000 and was paid for with donations and grants
Buntrock said providing art to the public is one of the group’s main goals.
“There always is that tension between putting something in permanently or having it be just a short-term exhibition, and I actually think both ways are valid,” Buntrock said
One example was in 2015. Buntrock said the group had a temporary exhibition where they placed sculptures around town. This is not the first time Turner, who sculpted the cedar waxwing, said he worked with the League.
“My one-and-a-half size red fox was on display over on Richmond Road for just over a year,” Turner said.
Turner said he was asked to make the piece about a year ago after Buntrock saw a smaller version of it in an art gallery.
“We were in (the gallery) doing a project and saw that and just fell in love with the sculpture,” Buntrock said. “We loved that it was airy and just seemed to have a lot of movement and motion.”
Burntorck called Turner to ask if he could make the statue in a monument size. Turner enlarged the sculpture for the park, and it’s now more than 8 feet tall.
“So it went from being a life-size cedar waxwing, which is a native species, to what I call it, for now, the world’s largest cedar waxwing sculpture,” Turner said.
Turner said he has created close to 100 sculptures for public areas, including a few for his alma mater, the College of William and Mary.
“I’ve got five sculptures on the campus now,” Turner said.
Much of Turner's work is inspired by nature. He originally graduated from college with a degree in biology and a minor in studio art.
“I think wildlife sculptures and various interpretations of wildlife help us to appreciate our environment a little bit more — maybe make us a little bit more aware,” Turner said.
Want to see it?
The sculpture is at the edge of Bicentennial Park facing South Henry Street, by the Confederate monument.
To learn more about the Triangle Arts & Culture League, visit tacl-va.org. To learn more about Turner’s art, visit turnersculpture.com
Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.