Recently, one of my sculptures was damaged.

“The End,” located along the Mill Creek Parkway is part of the ArTTrails program. I do not know if those who damaged my sculpture did so out of malice, or if they thought they were fixing a problem.

“The End” is a large concrete human head designed to lie on its side, and it was mounted in this manner to an underground structure. The people who decided to stand the head upright broke the concrete that was around the anchor bolts in the sculpture.

To the people that did this: I am not interested in condemning you or judging you for this action. However, I am very saddened by this and thankful that no one was injured.

I heard that some believed that the sculpture was on its side because of vandalism rather than design. Perhaps that is what motivated you to change the placement of my sculpture and in the process damage it. If this was the case, I urge you next time to pay closer attention before you decide on the appropriate action.

If you would have looked more carefully you would have noticed the plaque with the name of the piece and a phone number for the ArTTrail organizers. If you suspected vandalism, it would have been much wiser to call the organizers, the city offices or the police so that they could contact the artist and work out the proper solution to the issue.

The biggest reason that the piece was bolted down was in fact for public safety. When you stood it up on its neck and propped it up with rocks you created a very dangerous situation. The piece was not designed to stand like this and is not stable in that position. Imagine how you would feel if this sculpture would have fallen on a child, someone’s pet or one of your friends.

If this was done as a prank, or out of malice, I would like to share something with you that you may not realize. Unfortunately, in our country there is not much support for the arts, as there is in many other countries. A good portion of the public art that you see throughout the United States is just on loan from the artists.

Being a sculptor, especially one who creates large public pieces, is not an easy profession. Income is unpredictable and the work requires a huge investment in time, money, equipment and skill.

I pour my heart and soul into my work and have spent my lifetime learning and honing my skill as an artist. I often struggle to finance the production of my sculptures and sometimes must put the production of my sculptures on hold because I simply cannot afford to make them. When you damage my sculpture, you hurt me directly. So, I ask you, what did I do to you that makes you feel that you should hurt me?

Ekaterina Tatarovich Harrison

La Sal