A lot of hard work and sweat went into the installation of Dublin's bicentennial public artwork last week.

A lot of hard work and sweat went into the installation of Dublin's bicentennial public artwork last week.

Rhode Island artist Brower Hatcher and his team faced a triple-digit heat index as they installed the metal workings of the public art on the Karrer Barn property, at the southwest corner of High and Waterford streets.

The work, which consists of yellow and green powder-coated steel rods on a limestone base, is an imagining of the blacksmith shop owned by George Karrer that once sat on the property.

When Hatcher first visited the site at 225 S. High St. for the public artwork to celebrate Dublin's 2010 bicentennial, the history inspired him, he said.

"I developed a mythology and what it could mean to a community like Dublin," he said.

Hatcher also wanted to work within the boundaries of the site, which is near residential property on the southern edge of Historic Dublin.

"Essentially, we knew it had to be low impact because it's in a historic and residential location," he said. "It is low impact and transparent. It will blend in with trees and foliage. It will carry a memory that happened here at one time."

Hatcher, who has been working on the artwork for six months, said the idea came while thinking about a company that creates computer simulations of historic ruins.

He wanted the artwork to have a "virtual" feel, he said.

The artwork also is meant to "blend in."

"It's supposed to be transparent, an illusion," Hatcher said. "The intent is this idea of evoking a memory."

The artwork also looks different, depending on the time of day and from where one views it, Hatcher said. As he worked on site from Monday through Friday last week, he saw different views as the sun moved across the sky.

"It's very subtle," he said. "It's not a quick take. It's something you need to spend some time looking at. It's a transparent matrix."

The process to bring in public artwork for the city's bicentennial celebration started in 2009.

The work was delayed when the city decided to get additional input from community members.

According to Hatcher, that's just what every public artist needs.

"I've gotten a pretty good sense of what Dublin is like, and we want (the art) to work with the community. I'm not doing something on a collision course with local sensibility," he said.

Last week's installation didn't prompt many questions, though, Hatcher said.

"It's very interesting. I've done these in many communities and many cities. Sometimes it's a real draw," he said. "But mostly it's been drive-bys. People look, but there haven't been a whole lot of people gathering and asking questions."

Finishing touches on landscaping and masonry around the artwork has to be completed before the mid-August dedication date.

Hatcher plans to return and speak a little bit about the artwork for the dedication that's set for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18.

"It'll be a neighborhood ice cream social," said Sara Ott, Dublin senior project manager. "The historical society will join us as well to show some artifacts."

One of Hatcher's renderings of the artwork shows vines on the blacksmith-shop frame.

Ott said it's something to consider down the road.

"The vines are optional," she said. "It's not something to do right away. We'll let the artwork sit for a while. It's an idea."

The city will leave the decision up to residents, to see if they want to do the annual planting and maintenance, Ott said.