Some people look at the odd metal sculpture with a puzzled look and think to themselves, “What is that?” Others smile and understand that, yes, sight is integral to us, that we’re tough as steel but we’re also delicate and vulnerable and our sight helps us connect the dots and keeps us sane and resilient. Created by Michigan artist Fred Arndt, “Eyes in Focus” once graced a walkway of the Downtown Grand Rapids Courtyard Marriott. The sculpture was one of 1,582 works of art exhibited throughout the city as part of the ArtPrize competition. “Eyes in Focus” consists of five whimsical metallic characters, each sporting steel eye glasses. They are not real, functional eyeglasses but metal likenesses of glasses. The eyes inside the rims of the glasses are white. The characters are mounted on a display stand that is shaped like eyeglasses. Arndt, a former engineer for General Motors, worked with the Grand Rapids Lions Club on the project. Eyeglass recycling boxes were placed on each side of the sculpture. Arndt wanted to do good while doing art. “I’m lucky to have my vision,” he says. A virus in the early 1970s left him with double vision. “I’ve learned to live with it. I do appreciate all that is done and can be done by Lions to improve the vision of people,” he says. Arndt’s sculpture did not make the top 10 in the art competition. But there were plenty of winners: the hundreds of people who will be able to see better thanks to the eyeglasses tossed in the recycling boxes by the sculpture.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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