ASHLAND, Ky. — The three bronze sculptures sitting at the Port of Ashland were lit up for the public for the first time Friday night.
The City of Ashland hosted a dedication ceremony for the group of statues at the riverfront. The lighting ceremony took place after a brief presentation at the Paramount Arts Center. Two videos showcasing the progress of each statue and the works by Ginés Serrán-Pagán were shown and he shared why he made the statues for the community. Serrán-Pagán is a world-renowned Spanish artist and created the pieces of art given to the city by an anonymous donor.
“I think it’s wonderful that someone thought enough of their hometown to do that (donate these statues). I know I would if I could, but I think it’s wonderful,” said Terri Wonn of Ashland. “You have to see it to believe it. This was the first time I’ve seen them. It’s more than I thought it would be.”
The three-piece collection is the largest combination of classical mythology and contemporary art in the United States. Venus is the largest female classical mythology statue in the world, according to a press release from the city and echoed Serrán-Pagán. The unique monuments mix traditional and contemporary styles in America.
Genesis is designed based on images found at Ashland Blazer High School and is symbolic of the city’s faith-based community. Vulcan is depicted hammering on a forge, symbolic of the city’s history with metal and steel. Venus, Vulcan’s wife, offers an Ash tree, symbolizing the city’s natural beauty and love.
“We’re really proud of this,” said Mayor Steve Gilmore. “I hope our citizens are. It’s a gift to our citizens.”
The three bronze sculptures are expected to greatly enhance Ashland’s allure while advancing the city’s artistic offerings, drawing in art enthusiasts worldwide and allowing Ashland to grow into a comprehensive artists community.