Our opinion: Appreciation for sculptor’s legacy
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of Dave Poulin’s story in the Jamestown and Warren areas is what happened in the aftermath of the “Scary Lucy” fiasco.
Some took joy in berating and making fun of the sculptor, and lost amidst the hubbub of a private commission gone wrong was the tremendous good Poulin did in the Jamestown and Warren areas.
Poulin created 120 commissioned public works, several of them in the Jamestown and Warren areas. Adults today remember with fondness the days Poulin spent in their schools, teaching them both the art about which he was passionate but also working in English and history into his lessons. Students were able to place a piece on sculptures and watch Poulin work in a public work area at the school, something we’re sure ignited a passion for the arts for some of students who otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to such expert sculpting.
After Scary Lucy, however, Poulin gave away his sculpting tools and moved to South Carolina to teach welding to career and technical education students before passing away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.
It is encouraging that, in the weeks following Poulin’s death, his work is being reexamined. Here in Warren, members of the Street Landscape Committee are discussing putting the city’s five Poulin sculptures back on public display.
Mike Holtz, Warren public works director, suggested this week putting the works in Crescent Park with a plaque and a story to give people some sense of why Poulin’s work is important in Warren. Nancy Freenock, city manager, said the statues could be spread around as well.
Either way, putting the sculptures back out in the public domain should be done.
Dave Poulin devoted his life to art and to education. He may not still be with us, but Poulin can still inspire and teach future generations some lessons about following one’s passion.