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Morgan County Library going to the bears

Mar 21, 2024 10:47AM ● By Linda Petersen

These mother and baby bear sculptures by artist Dale Rogers will be installed outside the Morgan County Library in the coming months. Courtesy photo/Morgan County

Morgan County Library is getting a new art installation but all it’s going to cost the county is the funds to cover shipping and installation of a concrete pad. 

Dale Rogers is a metal sculptor from New Hampshire who works primarily with stainless steel and Cor-Ten steel. He designs both large-scale sculptures for private collectors and temporary public exhibits filled with multiple pieces. He has more than 100 public sculpture installations across the US sponsored by local governments, private companies, and various non-profit organizations. In Utah, he has sculptures at Highland Park and in Glenview.

“Sharing my art with the world and bringing art to public spaces is a great joy for me,” a post on his website says.

Rogers has already sculpted a mother bear and cub which had been funded by a private grant and, after a chance encounter with Library Director Erin Bott, is donating the sculpture to Morgan County Library. 

“I am really excited about this opportunity,” Bott said at the March 12 county commission meeting. “It has long been a goal of mine to continue to enhance the community by adding a little bit of public art.” 

Bott met Rogers while on vacation in Florida in January. When he mentioned he was an artist, the two fell into a conversation about his sculptures. After Bott told Rogers she worked for a public library and would love to see art like his in her community, he informed her that he had a grant that would cover the full cost of the sculpture except for the shipping and concrete pad.

“He had several different animals; he had a dog and an owl and all kinds of things,” Botts said. ‘He said, ‘Well, how about a mother bear and a cub?’ and I thought, ‘Yeah that seems like that'd be appropriate for Morgan; I think Morgan County would love that.’”

The mother bear is 52 inches high and 98 inches long; the cub is 39 inches high and 73 inches long. It has not been determined yet where on the library property they will be located. They will be installed in late spring or early summer when the weather is warm enough for the pad to be poured. Botts said they plan to also install a humorous sign that tells people not to feed or climb on the bears. 

The commissioners had no problem approving the funds to cover shipping of the sculptures  (expected to be around $1,900 which Botts said she has in her library budget already) and installation of a concrete pad they will be mounted onto. Commissioners discussed the possibility of having the materials and labor for the pad donated by community members.

“I just want to say thank you so much Erin for even presenting it because I think it's amazing and I'm always biased because I love installation art,” Interim County Manager Kate Becker said at that time. λ

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