What’s the Deal with ‘The Gatherer’ Statue in Downtown Hastings, Michigan?
What is that guy doing? Oh wait... he's just a statue.
Maybe you've seen it as you're walking in Downtown Hastings, Michigan. The statue known as The Gatherer has called the small West Michigan town his home since 2013. But, who is he, and how did he get there?
What do we know about this sculpture?
If you've been around for awhile, you may remember the strange statue from an ArtPrize over a decade ago. Kalamazoo based artist Brent Harris spent over a decade putting together the bronze statue in his own home studio.
The idea behind the 300 pound statue comes from the inspiration of the practice of Tai Chi. However, much like the open space between the figure's hands in the sculpture, the artist wanted to leave the significance of the piece open to interpretation from the audience and not get too literal.
Another inspiration? Brent Harris is the co-owner of the Alchemist Sculpture Studio located in Kalamazoo. The studio, which casts bronzes for artists, is inspired by 'alchemy,' which is the theoretical practice of magically transforming base metals into gold. According to lore, alchemists were rumored to have been trained in mystic arts, thus the mystic hand motions he's making.
But how did it get from Artprize in Downtown Grand Rapids to Hastings? Well, according to a post by the Barry Community Foundation, It was a gift to the city of Hastings by James Kwak in March of 2013.
So the next time you see him, you can be like me and fantasize about all of the things you think could fit into his hands...