Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iconic Symbols

Every city has an iconic start to spring. In Chicago it’s opening day for the Cubs or Sox. In Seattle it is when the Azaleas that populate the landscape of the University of Washington explode in pops of pink to the horizon. In Rockland, Main our spring icon is in its second season. You might question the word icon in the context of a two year stint. But our icon has a past. It is Robert Indiana’s EAT sculpture first displayed at the New York’s World Fair in 1964. The art installation was mistaken for a restaurant sign and hundreds of people waited in line for what they believed would be a forthcoming lunch. Fair organizers had the sign removed and returned to Mr. Indiana. It remained in his possession until the spring of 2009 when it was installed on the roof of the Farnsworth Art Museum. Locals have adopted the sign with the same love and seasonal recognition as the annual Christmas tree made from lobster crates and buoys.

Like the tree it invokes celebration, joy and hope. It says Eat life; Eat art; Eat the bounty of the season. Celebrate the lobsters pulled from the sea; the boats on the water; the clambakes on the shore. Eat it or miss out.

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