CELORON – The Celoron village board of trustee has selected the artist who will design and create the next Lucille Ball statue for Lucille Ball Memorial Park.
Celoron officials say the board has approved an agreement with Carolyn Palmer of Montgomery, NY to create a new bronze statue of Lucy. The statue will replace an existing statue created by regional artist Dave Poulin, which garnered international attention earlier this year due to public outcry, with critics saying it barely resembled the Queen of Comedy.
Palmer has created several bronze sculptors of noted individuals, including Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Wright Brothers. Photos of her work are available on her website.
Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost said in a prepared statement,”The Village of Celoron is very grateful to Ernie Boch, Jr. and other donors who have made it possible for the Village to honor the memory of Lucille Ball in this way.”
In April of this year Schrecengost announced the village would initiate a fundraising effort to replace the statue. A selection committee was also established – consisting of local artists, a representative of the National Comedy Center and a Village resident – to review the correspondence received from sculptors who were interested in creating a new statue. In May, Mr. Boch announced he would be donating $20,000 toward the effort to ensure enough money could be raised to commission a new artist.
At a special meeting held on September 28, 2015, the Celoron board reviewed the recommendation of the committee and voted unanimously to contract with Palmer. Specific details of the contract, including the cost of hiring the artist or conceptual imaging of the completed statue, were not immediately released.
Palmer said, “Thank you for giving me this great honor. I’m truly humbled and looking forward to capturing the beauty and charm of our beloved Lucille Ball.”
The original statue is still in Lucille Ball Memorial Park and will remain there until the new one is completed. Upon installation of the new statue the original statue will be on loan to the National Comedy Center. Ownership will be retained by the Village of Celoron.
The village is anticipating an August 6, 2016 unveiling of the new statue.