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Davis Journal

‘Dad’ the dragon adds a bit of fun to downtown Bountiful

May 12, 2023 12:33PM ● By Becky Ginos

“Dad” the Dragon relaxes at Bountiful Town Square. He is the first sculpture installed as part of the Downtown Sculpture project to bring art to Main Street. Photo by Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—A large dragon is keeping watch over the ice ribbon at Bountiful Town Square. The whimsical creature “Dad” is part of the Downtown Sculpture project to bring art to Main Street. The artist, Deveren Farley of Utah County, named the piece in memory of his father who  passed away the past year. Farley created it because his father loved dragons.

“He has his hands on his belly,” said Bountiful Community Affairs Specialist, Rebecca Montealegre. “He’s sleeping and looks at peace, like he’s resting.”

The metal sculpture is made up of license plates and street signs. “When the lights hit it at night it’s spectacular,” said Montealegre. “We’re thinking of adjusting the lights on the ribbon because it looks great at night.”

It’s the beginning of the city council’s public art program, she said. “The historic downtown advisory board picked 10-15 pieces then narrowed those down to five final pieces and brought them to the council to vote on. Funding for the program comes from capital construction, 1 percent of the cost goes to public art projects.”

“Dad” is on lease for one year, said Montealegre. “It was in St. George before. They were sad to see it leave. If they like it, the city council can decide whether to purchase it.”

Other pieces will be installed along Main Street in the coming weeks, she said. “‘Wet Your Whistle’ is a fire hydrant with cranes on top dancing in the water. It’s part of our permanent collection and makes use of education about water.”

“Sharing Your Story” is a bench with an adult and a child’s figure sitting on it, Montealegre said. “It will be on Main across from the post office. The city purchased it and it was the one unanimous piece.”

The city purchased “Daydream” from the artist, she said. “It’s a large steel flower that’s 10 feet tall. It will be installed on Main in the next two weeks.”

“Pig Iron” is made from recycled metal, said Montealegre. “I call it kind of steel punk style. It has an interactive tail that when you crank it makes gears move. It’s in a planter box so kids can reach it.”

Each sculpture has a title plaque with a QR code to teach both adults and children about the art, she said.

“People with all different interests and backgrounds have liked it (dragon),” Montealegre said. “Some don’t really love it just because it’s whimsical. Any piece of art will have differing opinions depending on your perspective in life.”

Some art that demands more attention demands more opinions, she said. “If art gets any dialogue that’s what it’s supposed to do. You can like it or not like it and both are perfectly fine as long as you have respect for the artist who made it.”

The goal is for people to enjoy access to new pieces and get outside with their families, Montealegre said. “We’re elevating art with uplifting pieces in the city so residents can come out and walk Main Street and see what downtown has to offer. We’re trying to find pieces that reflect our community.”

The program is meant to be educational for the community, she said. “We have a dream of Bountiful growing in public art, to be an art city in a way. It’s just the beginning.” λ