Welded 'Candy Crane' to engage community for big art event 

A welded sculpture made by individuals with disabilities at Hubbard County DAC, “Candy Crane,” is being featured at the Sculpture Trail Opening and Tour event on May 21 in downtown Park Rapids. Fourteen sculptures are on hand, chosen for quality, style, materials and responsiveness of entrants.
“This has increased the sense of pride that HCDAC artists feel and validates the work, talent and creativity,” said Hubbard County DAC Executive Director Laura Johnson.

Taught welding, safety

Candy Crane is a creation by people at the DAC’s Salvage Depot. Individuals took part in a basic welding course taught by Alex Hine this past winter, said Johnson. In this class, people were taught welding skills as well as safety procedures. Using those new skills, they proceeded to design and create the crane sculpture with the help of DAC staff.
The Sculpture Trail project was initiated in 2018 in Red Bridge Park, providing a beautiful setting on the Fishhook River, Johnson said. In 2019, it expanded to two locations in downtown Park Rapids with more sites added every year since. The Arts and Culture Commission’s intent is to change the sculptures annually to expose visitors at both locations to new works.

Helping community reach goals

The DAC’s contribution helps meet project goals in the city’s Arts and Culture Plan. These include promoting the creation and inclusion of art in public spaces that are accessible, making the city a regional destination for unique arts and cultural experiences and adding an element of creative place-making to improve the quality of life and economic opportunities in the area.

“The team that worked on Candy Cane is very excited to be able to view their work alongside recognized area artists,” said Johnson.

Hubbard County DAC is one of five 2022 MOHR Life Enrichment Award recipients. A formal presentation is being planned.