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Public art piece unveiled in Dansville

Jeff Miller
Mayor Peter Vogt and Livingston County Economic Development downtown coordinator Louise Wadsworth celebrate the unveiling of "Imagine...Beneath the Stars" with artist Deb McAfee (kneeling).

DANSVILLE — In a small ceremony last Friday morning, several people gathered for an unveiling of what is intended to be the first of more public art pieces in Dansville, as well as the first sculpture for Livingston County’s Inspirations Trail.

The Inspirations Trail is a self-guided art tour through all nine Livingston County villages, and is intended to encompass more than 100 works of art created by local artists and students. Each piece will include an inspirational quote.

The fiberglass, wire, wood and metal statue titled, “Imagine…..Beneath the Stars,” was sculpted and designed by Dansville artist Deborah McAfee of Wild World Studios. It took about two to three months for her to create. The sculpture represents a married couple who spontaneously decided to dance under the stars during the Dogwood Festival.

“I just thought that was a neat thing to put in Dansville,” McAfee said.

In addition to being part of the Livingston County Inspirational Trail, the sculpture is also the first in a series called, “Magical Stars of Main Street.” It was funded through a First Impressions matching grant from Livingston County Development. The Village of Dansville applied and received the grant. The sculptures are intended to promote, celebrate and enhance Dansville’s downtown business district.

“Art is the outward manifestation of the human spirit. It can be joyful, whimsical, angry, bellicose, even sad. Whatever the emotion, it inspires the observer,” Mayor Peter Vogt said. “Ms. McAfee sculpture is in the joyful range, with a touch of the whimsical. If nothing else, it makes one smile and want to dance. I cannot wait to see her next piece.”

McAfee said she had been dreaming about making public art installations for the Village of Dansville for several years, but funding never came through until now. She is dedicating this statue, which stands next to Community Bank on Main Street, to Susan Reagle who worked at Community bank.

McAfee said her next piece will be a moveable sculpture to coincide with Dansville’s Fairy Door trail.