by Matt Marquardt –
MASON CITY – You could see the pride on the face of Gregory Mendez Friday as Mason City Operations and Maintenance staff installed his sculpture in downtown Mason City.
“It’s definitely a privilege to be here,” Mendez said Friday as his sculpture was welded to to a limestone base at the southwest corner of Delaware Avenue and State Street.
“This is my first time in Mason City, Iowa” Mendez said. “It’s an absolute privilege for an artist to be able to display art downtown, right in the heart of the community.
“I wanted to thank everyone for supporting the artists.”
Mendez said his sculpture was inspired by his boxing career. “I come from a long line of boxers,” he said. “I fought my last fight several years ago, and that is when I started this piece.”
Mendez said his sculpture took over 3 months to complete. “If they are this size, using this technique, they typically tak3 3-4 months to complete.”
Mendez, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has sculptures or other art in other cities like Sioux Falls, Mankato and Decatur, Indiana.
Mendez has been involved in the Sculpture Walk program, which originated in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for 2 years.
Mendez assisted Mason City’s Bob Berggren and Mike Rickard in attaching the statue Friday, giving advice and finding just the right techniques to properly attach the sculpture.
Mendez, like the other artists participating in the Sculpture Walk program, designed and built the statues themselves and pay for the materials out of their own pockets.
Visitors to the Sculpture Walk will be able to vote for their favorite sculpture over the next year or so and then the City has an option to buy the winning artwork.