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Sculpture tops off garage

Evanston’s newest public art work — “Encounter” — had its first full day under our overcast winter sky today atop the Maple Avenue Garage.

Evanston’s newest public art work — “Encounter” — had its first full day under our overcast winter sky today atop the Maple Avenue Garage.

It was installed by a crane and a crew of workers who started on Monday and finished up Wednesday.

The work by German artist Hubertus von der Goltz features two figures delicately balancing and moving toward each other.

The plan for the sculpture was the subject of much comment and criticism earlier this year when it was under consideration by the City Council.

Those reactions surfaced again this morning at a meeting marking the close-out of the tax increment financing district that helped finance much of the new development along Maple Avenue.

Alderman Ann Rainey, 8th Ward, suggested the city may have to remove gym shoes and jockey shorts that pranksters may drape over the work. And Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, with a laugh, suggested people might think of its name as “Suicide.”

The city capped the total cost for the sculpture at $105,000, which is coming from a public arts fund.

The artist says the sculpture symbolizes the coming together of people from different cultures and walks of life just as the public below will encounter each other on the sidewalks of Evanston as they head for work, shop, take in a movie or go to dinner.

Most pedestrians walking along Maple Avenue this morning appeared to take no notice of the new sight overhead, but one man did take a moment to look up at it.

The dark metal of the sculpture silhouetted against the orange metal balconies of the Optima Views condo tower next door.

A dedication ceremony for the work will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday in what a city news release points out is the heated sixth floor elevator lobby at the garage, 1800 Maple Ave.

The sculpture rests atop an elevator tower at the garage.

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