A Mammoth-Sized Community Art Project

Conneaut Lake, Pa. — How do you move a 3,500 pound, 10-and-a-half foot tall woolly mammoth made of steel?

Very carefully, and with the help of a very large crane and a team of dedicated community partners.

“Ganesh,” a sculpture created by Eila V. Bush Endowed Professor of Art Amara Geffen of Allegheny College, was installed at Fireman’s Beach in Conneaut Lake Friday morning, the culmination of a community art project two years in the making. The project is funded by a competitive National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, federal money that “supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core.”

“It’s incredibly rewarding, beyond belief,” Geffen said of the project, which she called a “a highlight of my career.”

It was a fitting day to welcome a sculpture of an Ice Age mammal to the lakeshore. A crew from Pipeline Systems Inc. operated the crane amid frigid temperatures and blowing snow, slowly transporting and then positioning the massive piece to its new home under a tree. The space has meaning: Actual woolly mammoth bones have been found at several sites around the lake.

The sculpture’s name is a reference to the Hindu god Ganesh, an elephant-headed deity who is known as the god of wisdom and learning, as well as “the remover of obstacles,” Geffen said.

Geffen said she hopes the sculpture serves as a source of inspiration for Conneaut Lake Borough and the townships surrounding the lake, as well as many other small communities that are working together, many through the arts, to strengthen social fabric and improve livability in the rural core of our nation.

For more, watch the video below, courtesy of YourErie.com:



Coverage in The Meadville Tribune: