was not the primary intention of artist Kovel when he conceived
a piece of public art for the central intersection of a small
seacoast New England town.
meant to carry a message to the community about the health
of local natural resources about being responsible stewards
of the environment about life in the ocean and on land. "Creating
a life with meaning is everything. Every individual can
make a meaningful change happen around them if they feel
empowered to do so," says Kovel.
Public comments included: "In
my view it's a stack of fly swatters without handles." Kovel's
reply: "Bingo! That is perfect. I could see it too.
She used her own creativity to imagine something from my
work." Of, "First of all, what is it? It looks
like a giant teepee." Another said, "It did stimulate
conversation because it took about a month for us to figure
out what it was supposed to be."
"Any good art is going
to provoke," Kovel says. "Good art has an edge.
It broadens the visual language. It forces a new vocabulary
into our lives. Good art is not decoration."
Kovel, once a hook and line
tuna fisherman, witnessed the species declining over 10
to 15 years and was utterly distraught by the quickly vanishing
fish. Although open to viewer's interpretation, "Aspirations" was
meant to capture some of this sentiment. While its gray
side feels like the scratchy skin of a shark, its blue
section resembles a breaching barnacle-ridden humpback
Kovel believes that public art
and public sculpture say the best of what we are as a people.