Two New Canton Library Friends – Thanks to the Friends
"Best Friends", the new statue in front of the Canton Public Library,
share a book to discover the joy of reading.
CANTON - Recently, two friendly bronze children have been sighted on a small bench in front of the Canton Public Library, inviting passers-by to share a story with them. There are many such books to read, they seem to suggest, in the building behind.
When the Canton Public Library was renovated in 2003, some artistic flourishes were regrettably omitted. The chairperson of the Board of Trustees at the time was Betty Chelmow, also a lead Building Committee member, who envisioned an art piece to greet library visitors near the children’s room entrance. The cost of a commissioned statue, however, proved insurmountable when many practical needs presented themselves, and the statue never materialized.
Chelmow has since retired from the board, but her fervor to complete the project continued to inspire the board to complete the project. Thanks to the Friends of the Library who accepted the challenge from the current Board of Trustees, a statue is now situated at the library’s entrance that fulfills the original aspirations of the Building Committee. The statue was purchased using only private donations to the Friends.
The piece, entitled “Best Friends,” depicts two smiling children seated on a bench enjoying a book together. The Americana style conjures the timelessness of this scene experienced by past and future generations of Canton children. Library officials decided to locate the statue where it could best welcome everyone, and remind all that the library is a central part of the community, the same way reading and sharing stories is a central part of life.
The statue is part of the Randolph Rose Collection and is cast in bronze using the ancient and traditional “lost wax” method of casting. The “Best Friends” design is one of no more than 20 copies, each of which is unique in its patina.
More information on the casting process is available on the Randolph Rose Collection website. The statue was purchased exclusively with private donations to the Friends.
The statue was installed by library custodians Bobby Parr and Tony Allen.
Photo courtesy/Agnes Hagan
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