Jerzy Kedziora on His Schiller Park Sculptures, Columbus
In the January issue, Columbus Monthly covered the riveting new sculptures floating over Schiller Park, which were installed by artist Jerzy Kedziora and his team last October. We reached out to him in December, and Kedziora answered via email from his native Poland. In addition to what he shared about his sculptures for the article, he provided his take on his first trip to our fair city.
You visited here in late October to install your sculptures in Schiller Park. What were your impressions of Columbus?
What charmed me here more than anywhere else in the USA was kindness, selfless willingness to help in the implementation of the exhibition and enthusiastic reception by the residents of Columbus. And both those related to the park, German Village and the exhibition, as well as random walkers. Maybe because this is the "status" of Schiller Park, as a meeting place for the local community, everyone feels good here—people and animals. I was delighted by the attitude of people to dogs that are loved here—just like in Poland.
From other spaces—I liked the architectural and functional solutions of the [Main] Library, Rodin's exhibition [on display at the time at the Columbus Museum of Art], some design and sports/recreational accents in the structure of the city.
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Did anything surprise you about our city?
For a man from Central Europe, many things in the USA are on a completely different scale; they are much larger. The object that characterizes this momentum is the Nationwide Children's Hospital. It's impressive.
Some people would love to see one of your sculptures be permanently installed in Schiller Park. Is this a possibility?
Of course it is possible. Representatives of the Art & Balance Foundation—co-organizer of the exhibition—talk about these matters on my behalf. If a specific project appears, I will do my best to implement it as best as possible.
What advice can you share for young artists?
Be yourself. Be authentic. If something plays in your soul, your mind tells you and you have a desire to do it, do it.
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Columbus Monthly also wrote to Joanna Rapicka, the foreign relations director of the Art & Balance Foundation of Poland, about what appeals to her and to people all over the world about Kedziora’s figures:
“For the first time as a spectator, I came across balancing sculptures in Krakow—my hometown—when in 2016 a large exhibition, Between the Water and the Sky, was installed on a footbridge over the Vistula River connecting two districts. I enjoyed it very much because I am a big fan of art in public space. Even then, I did not know the artist himself and did not think that I would work for him soon! … Working with Jerzy since 2017, I had the opportunity to talk to people about his artworks on three continents. There is always delight, curiosity, sometimes pure joy and very often reflection on life. In the case of Asia, [the sculptures' relational dynamic] was additionally emphasized—there they particularly liked works composed of two figures.”