Harringtons walk readers through 11 special works BY JEB BING
etired educators and philanthropists Nancy and Gary Harrington, who have contributed extensively to public art in Pleasanton, frequently lead public walks through the downtown area to see and talk about the many art works that have been donated to the community. These range from the sculptures at the public library to the “Sing a Song of Sixpence” in Centennial Park. The Harringtons’ tour includes artwork outside the public library and Senior Center, in front of the Veterans Memorial Building and both inside and outside the Firehouse Arts Center, which includes the Harrington Art Gallery, and their donations and conceptual plans for the Veterans Memorial recently dedicated at the city’s Pioneer Cemetery. Much of the art is donated by the Harringtons through
“Special Friends” by artist Carol Dunford-Jackman.
Page 12 • January 6, 2017 • Pleasanton Weekly
matching gifts in their “Another Harrington Art Partnership Project,” which uses the acronym H.A.P.P.Y. “Yak” (pictured) is a bronze sculpture created by Joseph Anthony McDonnell in 1967 and installed in Centennial Park in 1981. Privately funded by the Taubman Company, the piece was commissioned for Sun Valley Mall, which decided not to use it and sent it to Taubman’s new Stoneridge Shopping Center, then under construction. However, Stoneridge had no place to store it and offered it to the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council. “Yak” ended up being stored for 10 years until the Senior Center was built. Then it was placed in nearby Centennial Park in its strategic location. The Harringtons said McDonnell sculpted two casts of “Yak,” both cast in Italy and with the second one going to Woodfield Mall in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Wind Song” (pictured) is a commissioned sculpture located off Sunol Boulevard near the Senior Center. Made of sealed and painted polychrome on a half-inch of plated steel, this is the second piece by Greg Hawthorne acquired in 2012 through the Harrington Art Partnership in Pleasanton. The Hawthorne Gallery in Big Sur offers a varied kaleidoscope of creations that reflect the artist’s moving, changing sensations that are an expression of his observations of people, current events and personal interests. “We discovered this piece when we took a field trip with three city personnel to view several art pieces in the Big Sur area,” Nancy Harrington said. “His home is like a huge art sculpture with separate buildings for different parts of the house.” “’Wind Song’ caught our eyes and we’re pleased the city approved this piece,” she added. “It represents a sail surfer so the grass represents the sea. It is very different from other sculptures we’ve brought to the city. It has a little Picasso look about it.” “Special Friends” (pictured) is another Harrington Art Partnership piece. This life-size bronze sculpture of a boy holding his “friend” the frog is leaning against a tree near a crosswalk on Main Street adjacent to Civic Park. Created by artist Carol Dunford-Jackman in 2011, she drew from her experience as a mother to achieve greater emotion in her work. A native of Provo, Utah, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine art at Brigham Young University. After raising five children, she returned to BYU to study sculpture, finding that sculpture is her true love. The Harringtons found this piece in Palm Desert at CODA Gallery. It’s installed outside on Main Street where its only fault is that traffic often slows to look at the sculpture, “which is a good thing,” Gary Harrington said. “Vision Cubed” (pictured on Page 14) sits at the entrance to the Pleasanton City Hall at 123 Main St. It was created and donated by the Pleasanton Leadership Academy Class of 2008-09, which is sponsored by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce and the city of Pleasanton. This bus station mural at Old Bernal Avenue near the library (also pictured on Page 14) is one of several located in Pleasanton. It was a collaboration between the city of Pleasanton, Livermore-Amador Valley Transportation Authority (Wheels) and the Pleasanton school district. Painted by Caroline Field’s art classes at Foothill High See ART IN PLEASANTON on Page 14
“Yak” by Joseph Anthony McDonnell.
“Wind Song” by Greg Hawthorne.