PITTSFIELD -- A new statue was dedicated at the First Street Common on Saturday and everyone agreed it was a perfect fit.
Standing 14 feet tall, it features a bronze female dancing atop a stainless steel circle that seemed to seamlessly fit with the circular walkways and circular- shaped playgrounds carved into the park.
The unveiling Saturday wrapped up a two-year effort from the Pittsfield Garden Tour to donate something that would forever beautify the city.
"When we, the committee first saw it, there was an intake of breath," Pittsfield Garden Tour co-founder Anne Pasko said. "She said to us joy. The circle unites the whole of the city and said community and that's what we wanted."
The 1,600-pound statue titled, "Infinite Dance" was designed and crafted by Carol Gold, who lived in the Berkshires as a youth before moving to California. The Pittsfield Garden Tour, founded in 1996, funded the $90,000 project. The group runs on the mission of celebrating and contributing to the beauty of Pittsfield.
Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi light-heartedly joked there was a new resident in the park.
"I can report [to Gov. Deval Patrick] that we have a lady living in the park permanently," Bianchi said. "What a wonderful addition she is."
"The beautiful lady who will grace this place for generations embodies this place of joy and happiness and community and family," Bianchi said.
The Pittsfield Garden Tour offers annual tours of gardens throughout Pittsfield. There were 750 people who paid to participate last year, Pasko said. The proceeds paid for landscaping around the Colonial Theatre and other beautification projects.
But the group members wanted to do more.
"We knew a bronze sculpture would stay forever and it would be a long-term gift and there would be no required maintenance by the Garden Tour Committee," Pasko said. "It would be a beautiful thing for the city."
There were 77 proposals submitted before Gold's was selected. The artist's work has been featured at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark. She has been commissioned to do work in California and Colorado.
"The theme of this park is circles," Gold said. "I took one of my dancers and designed her on the circle."
Garden Tour co-founder Sue Langman said the statute should inspire.
"Each of us could tell a different story about this sculpture," Langman said. "Each of us will be touched according to our deepest dreams, deepest thoughts. The true message of "Infinite Dance" goes to our spirit ... That place that is unique that is personal, profound, sacred, intimate, loving, and whole. It's a great many things together.
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