Article by Cammie Fulmer
Former Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Wayne Hill will be honored with the first outdoor art at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (EHC).
Funded by the private, non-profit Environmental and Heritage Center Foundation, this venture will consist of a multi-year project to place sculptures and reflective garden spaces throughout the EHC’s 700 acre campus.
On April 6, a proposed rendering was presented by members of the EHC Foundation Board for an inaugural sculpture which to be placed at the entrance of the EHC near its nationally recognized turtle pond. This gifted sculpture will picture three children observing a turtle and discovering the wonders of nature set alongside a depiction of one of the EHC’s founding supporters and former County Commission Chairman Wayne Hill.
Marsha Anderson-Bomar, a member of the EHC Foundation Board, says: “Wayne Hill has served our community his entire life. In choosing a figure that was representative of the subject matter of this sculpture, it was fitting to select Wayne Hill as it was largely his vision and commitment that brought the EHC into existence, which inspires more than 111,000 people annually.”
The beginning of this project will also signify the inaugural use of the turtle figure in a public art and cultural tourism experience. Envisioned to be a fund raising initiative supported by local businesses, corporate giving and private donations, the turtle character will be featured in several locations throughout the region and will provide an opportunity for community engagement.
Ms. Anderson-Bomar adds: “Recognized by various early American cultures as a symbol of Earth itself, the turtle character will serve as a symbol of our community and act as a reminder of our relationship to the environment. This project truly is an addition to the EHC’s mission to inspire community involvement by encouraging natural curiosity and a sense of wonder about the world around us. We look forward to people seeking out these turtles while they discover what makes Gwinnett and Georgia great.”
The artist commissioned to provide the sculpture is Vic McCallum, who has also created various other bronzes throughout Gwinnett County. That includes a 12 foot tall sculpture of a red-tailed hawk for Mill Creek High School, as well as the bronze sculpture in Buford of Roy Rogers, his horse, Trigger, and a Bona Allen worker. The rendering that was presented on Monday is an early draft of the final sculpture and was based on photographs provided by Mr. Hill’s family.
This initial sculpture garden is expected to be completed within 18 months. Private donations are continuing to be secured by the EHC Foundation. For more information or to contribute to the project, please visit www.gwinnettEHC.org.
Officials at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center unveiled plans on Monday for a sculpture of former county commission Chairman Wayne Hill and his grandchildren. Carolyn Hill, center, hugs her husband, former county commission Chairman Wayne Hill, after plans were unveiled to install a sculpture of him at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. Also pictured is Steve Hill, who is a member of the center’s foundation board.
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center Foundation board members Randy Dellinger, from left, and Marsha Anderson Bomar unveil the design.
Former Gwinnett County commission Chairman Wayne Hill takes a look at sculptor Vic McCallum’s rendering.
Artistic Rendering by Vic McCallum