Artist assembling ‘Revival’ in Charles City’s Victory Park

Artist David Williamson talks about the community art project “revival quote that he is assembling in victory Park. – Photo by Savannah Baldus

CHARLES CITY — Of all the things artist David Williamson has done to the debris of Charles City’s iconic suspension bridge, he did not bend and twist heavy angle iron. That was done for him by the raging Cedar River in 2008.
Williamson over the past week has been putting together the sculpture called “Revival” in Victory Park. It is the result of the community-wide art project Building With The Bridge. Williamson met with students, service clubs and as many residents as possible in designing the sculpture made from the wreckage of Charles City’s iconic suspension bridge that was swept away in the Flood of 2008.
The sculpture that developed is three-sided and will be the largest piece of public art in Charles City.
Each side has a theme: Remembering, Ruin and Recovery.
In Ruin, angle iron twisted by the raging Cedar River is part of a mosaic reflecting the river’s tumult in 2008. The bent metal shows the river’s strength, Williamson said.
Angle iron is designed to be strong for structural uses. Non-twisted pieces provide the supporting architecture for each panel of the sculpture.

The Remembering panel will show a view of the old bridge you would see as you stepped onto it. The base is

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This “V” is made from angle iron bent by the power of a flooding Cedar River in 2008. — Photo by Savannah Baldus

the exact width of that bridge’s wood planks, Williamson said.
Recovery will include a poem Williamson drafted from what he heard from residents in all those meetings. A piece of angle iron bent into a “v” will top the panel to stand for victory.

Williamson completed the sculpture at his farm studio and then cut it up to be reassembled here. He will continue that process this week.

“Revival” will be dedicated at a celebration in Victory Park at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, July 1. The park is at the foot of the cable-stayed bridge that replaced the suspension bridge. The land was donated to the city by Victor and Phyllis Meyer, whose house on that spot was also destroyed by the 2008 flood.

The project was funded with private donations.

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