‘It snapped like a twig’

Lewes Public Art Committee discusses sculpture pad installation mishap
June 30, 2023

The Lewes Public Art Committee is trying to prevent a repeat of the mistake that happened when artist DeWitt Godfrey tried to install his sculpture “Paviljoen” in Canalfront Park in May. The concrete pad being used as a base was not poured to the artist’s specifications and cracked during the installation.

“It snapped like a twig,” said committee Chair Heidi Lowe at a public meeting June 28. Committee members focused on a communications breakdown before the installation attempt. They discussed ways to ensure more questions are asked and emails shared to avoid a similar situation in the future.

Parks and recreation commission member Rodney Robinson, who is responsible for Canalfront Park, told the public art committee he does not believe the contractor was to blame for the mishap. Robinson also said Canlafront Park is not a good place for some sculpture installations because the park is a brownfield site. Robinson said the soil should not be disturbed because it is a stormwater management device. He said water collects in a catch basin and then ends up in the canal. Committee members pointed out that previous sculptures in the park were smaller and did not have cement bases that required digging.

A new cement pad was recently installed. Committee member Barry Dunkin said it is 12 inches thick with two layers of rebar.

Godfrey is scheduled to return to Lewes Monday, July 17, to install “Paviljoen” – Dutch for pavilion. The job will take about three days.

A formal unveiling of the sculpture will be held after installation. 


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