The riverfront statues officially dedicated to the city of Ashland on Friday have caused more of a stir than expected.
Let’s all agree to do one thing when it comes to these majestic bronze sculptures: Be open-minded.
City leaders, in accepting these donated sculptures, have been receptive to change. That’s important in order for any community to grow.
The fact that world-renowned Spanish artist Gines Serrán Pagán is here in Ashland shows he has pride in these particular pieces of work and he has a connection to this community now.
Serrán Pagán, like Johnny Cash, has been “everywhere, man.”
Take a peek at his biography and his lengthy list of accolades. He has had 250 exhibitions in more than 20 countries.
Serrán Pagán, born in Cueta, Spain, has explored a slew of places, including Nigeria, France, Italy, Israel, Greece, India, Japan … the list goes on and on forever, it seems. But he has said Ashland — we —are some of the friendliest people he’s ever encountered.
Apparently Ashlanders have made quite the striking impression.
Now, let’s allow ourselves to be impressed with Serran and these three anonymously gifted sculptures.
Visit his website serran-paganart.com, and you’ll see that his bronzes “Calypso” “The Columns of Hercules,” “The Union of the World” and “Venus of Ashland” — yep, this Ashland — are the largest sculptures of classical mythology in the world today.
Let’s embrace Genesis, Venus and Vulcan for what they are. No, they’re not religious figures. They’re not idols of any sort. They’re simply wonderful pieces of art Ashland can claim on its riverfront.
The community should offer a sincere thanks to Serrán Pagán, city leaders and the anonymous donor — even if it is difficult to throw in a handshake to go along with that gratitude — for these magnificent sculptures.