A new piece of public art is gracing the Lee’s Summit streetscape.
Dave Eames, metal artist, has installed a work called “Life Time” outside the Gamber Center on Second Street. Paula Belser, a parks board member and Lee’s Summit Arts Council member commissioned the piece.
Eames said he chose natural color palate and textured the metal so it fit in with the gardens and architecture at the community center. He designed and manufactured parts of the piece, with subcontractors doing actual cutouts of the metal because of its thickness and for its powder coating. He poured the concrete footing and with his two sons, Sam, 20 and Jack, 17, and erected the sculpture on June 18.
The four panels represent four seasons and four stages of life, a child, teenager, adult and elderly adult. The project began last September with discussions between Eames, Belser and park department officials.
Belser wanted to donate a piece to commemorate her late husband, Wayne Belser, a well-known, lifelong Lee’s Summit resident who had a dental practice in town. He grew up on Douglas Street, the 13th of 13 children. The couple was married 52 years before he died in December 2012.
Eames said she explained to him that Wayne Belser’s loves included kids, dogs and parks, so he used those as motifs for the sculpture’s silhouettes. The cutouts create a play of shadows and light from different angles with the shifting sun in different seasons, he said.
Paula Belser said there donations collected in his memory she used to purchase the sculpture.
“Some people buy big things and put them in the cemetery,” Belser said. “I thought it would be nice to have public art for a park. I am hoping people will do this for other places ... any time you can get art work anywhere in Lee’s Summit it is a good thing.”