A new public art piece is being installed in a park near downtown McKinney.
A dedication ceremony for this sculpture, called the “Unity Arch,” will be held Sept. 14 at Mitchell Park, located at 300 W. Louisiana St., McKinney, at 11:30 a.m.
The sculpture is commissioned by both the Don Day Family and the city of McKinney Art Commission.
“Art is always important, because we humans love order and beauty,” Day said. “It attracts people and uplifts us all.”
Day, who has been building and renovating buildings in downtown McKinney for the last 23 years, said he chose to sponsor this art piece not only because he loves and enjoys art, but he hopes it will continue attracting the community and visitors to the Square.
“The McKinney Art Commission sets aside approximately $20,000 per year for public art, but these funds can only be used for half of any public work of art,” Day said. “And because large private donations are difficult to find, these funds have grown over the years without being used. Therefore, it made sense to partner with the Art Commission and the Parks Department to place a larger work of art in a downtown park. This piece will be the seventh and largest piece in downtown I have sponsored to date.”
The sculpture in the park will be 13 feet tall and weighs over three tons, according to the artist. The arch will be composed of trees connected by an arch of doves in flight. The trees are made of hammered copper and filled with concrete, which will be topped by dozens of steel doves.
International artist Ai Qui Hopen was selected for the sculpture. The art commission sent out a nationwide request for proposals, and out of 40 responses, Hopen’s idea for the sculpture was deemed to be the best fit for downtown McKinney, Day said.
The trees and doves in the sculpture are meant to symbolize the unity and harmony found in nature, according to Day.
“So long as I build in McKinney, art will be a part of these buildings,” Day said. “Buildings and art are my way of combating chaos and building a better world.”
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include additional information about the sculpture and a new picture.