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Letters to the Editor

The Idea of public art

The idea of public art has been around for a long time. Richard Beyer’s first sculptural attempt was called, “People waiting for the Interurban.” It is located on Fremont Street in Seattle, Washington. Richard is not just a fine sculptor, he is also an interpreter, ironist, fabulist and philosopher, who helps us understand the human condition.

What Beyer creates is universal. He speaks to all ages and levels of artistic appreciation. He illuminates, for all to see, facets of our being that we ourselves are often not aware of. He makes us laugh that we may not cry. The above words are taken from his book that he published in 1999, by Washington State Universaity.

As a bookseller and friend of Trisha Hines Minner, I first became aware of his book when he asked permission to print a photograph she had taken in 1979 of his sculpture, “Waiting for the Interurban.” Of course, she gave him permission and her photo was placed on the cover of his book, “The Art People Love; stories of Richard S. Beyer’s Life and His Sculpture.” Thus began a friendship between Richard the artist and Trisha the photographer that lasted until she died.

Trisha Hines went to school in Creston and graduated somewhere around 1962 or 3. She was the daughter of Ted and Katherine Hines. After graduation, she became a nurse, volunteered for the U.S. Air Force, served in Vietnam, and won a Bronze Star. At some later point, she became the wife of Dr. Dale Minner.

In 1999, she died of a heart attack with complications from Lymes Disease that weakened her immune system. It was then that Dale got the idea to commission Richard to create a memorial scuplpture of Trisha.

Since she was also a professional photographer, Richard tied her profession into a piece of “public art” for the community to appreciate. Originally, it was placed at the Episcopal Church on Adams Street where she was a member until the church was closed. Dale then made arrangements to give it to the Methodist Church at N Elm and Howard. Hence the mask has been added to reflect the times we are now living in. Dale has since moved to Ithaca, N.Y. to be near his daughter. He left his public art sculpture to be admired and appreciated by the people of Creston, where Trisha grew up and attended this church as a child. A fitting circle to a life well lived.

For anyone who wants to look at the book written and illustrated by Richard Beyer, I sent two copies to the Methodist Church for their library.

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