Sculpture is popping up all over downtown Brighton. "Don Quixote'' greets patrons of the Yum Yum Tree restaurant as they exit. The man standing guard along West Main Street at the Mill Pond has a "Decision Pending.'' What looks like a stairway to heaven near City Hall is really a "Standing Arch.'' And those are just three of the 28 sculptures that will be in place by the time the Mayor's Commission on Art in Public Places dedicates the sculptures as the initial installation of the Brighton Biennial exhibit that will be in place for the next two years. John Sauve, a sculptor himself, is the curator of the Brighton Biennial and has pulled together an impressive collection of large-scale works of art created by sculptors with regional, national and, in some cases, international reputations. Sauve, a Genoa Township resident, also is the force behind the Brighton International Film Festival. "I was given an opportunity by the city, which said you can do it as long as it doesn't cost anything,'' Sauve says. "They said 'here's a blank canvas, go with it.''' And go for it he has. Not only has he made the contacts to get the sculpture - which is all for sale - put on display in downtown Brighton, he's picked up many of the pieces himself and been installing the artwork on the donated concrete pads throughout the downtown business district.
Rick Fitzgerald Editor
"John Sauve, who almost single-handedly gave us the Brighton Biennial public display of sculpture in downtown
Austin Smith, an 8 year old boy from Brighton, Michigan made the Brighton Biennial sculpture exhibit his passion. Every day on his way to school, Austin would have his parents drive him by the artwork so he could make sure they were all in place. Austin was aware of the community's initial response to the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit and he couldn't understand the controversy. According to Austin's Mother, Faith Smith, the Brighton Biennial Sculpture Exhibit served as an impetus for a communication breakthrough with Austin.
Genoa Township artist John Sauvé organized the first biennial, which opened in June 2006 and was launched without taxpayers' money. The exhibit featured 27 pieces on loan from artists, and part of the goal was for residents to purchase pieces for themselves or for the community. Sauvé is expected to have three pieces in the new exhibit.