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Bright ‘Roland’ back at library

4/20/2017 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Photo: Kathleen Folkerth
FAIRLAWN — “Roland” is back, hopefully for good this time.

The bright yellow metal sculpture, which toppled as a result of heavy winds Jan. 10, was reinstalled April 13 in front of the Fairlawn-Bath Branch Library on Smith Road.

Branch Manager Jane Scott said after the sculpture was removed, it was discovered that there was some minor damage as a result of its tumble.

CCM Welding in North Akron repaired the sculpture, according to employee Frank Mihelich, of West Akron, who was on-site painting over primer with a fresh coat of bright yellow paint last week. He added the sculpture weighs about 2,000 pounds.

“It’s a lot heavier than we thought it was,” said Mihelich, who is shown above right applying the first of several coats.

Despite the sculpture’s weight, the wind was able to knock it over. Both Scott and Mihelich said this time, “Roland” has been bolted to the concrete underneath.

“It’ll be there now for a long, long time,” Scott said. “We’re glad it’s back. Everyone has been asking about it.”

Bath resident Carolyn Balogh, of CCM Welding, said she researched the sculpture and was quite impressed to learn that its creator, George Sugarman, was an established artist. According to his New York Times obituary from Aug. 31, 1997, his work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

Balogh also learned that “Roland” was gifted to the library system in 1974 by Mr. and Mrs. Louis Myers. Library officials said it was originally placed in Downtown Akron at the Main Library. When the new Main Library was under construction in 2004, the sculpture had to be removed, so it was brought to the Fairlawn-Bath Branch, Scott said.

Balogh added the sculpture’s original paint was matched with a color with an appropriate name. 

“As it fell during that heavy wind storm, it took quite a twist, and oddly the matching paint color is called Lemon Twist,” she said.

— By Kathleen Folkerth

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