When the dedication of the new public art installation at Breck Community Park is held, some guests will show their appreciation for the sculpture by applauding.

Others may wag their tails.

The sculpture, "Woof!Woof!" will be dedicated in a ceremony at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the park, 3005 Demorest Road in Grove City.

The park is a destination for pet owners and their dogs in Grove City, offering two off-leash dog play areas each for large and small canines.

The sculpture, designed by artist Ken Valimaki, a Pickerington resident and former art teacher for Columbus City Schools, features two 8-foot-tall canines made of aluminum that sit on a concrete base.

"The dogs are very stylized. That means you can tell they are dogs, but it leaves it up to your imagination as to what kind of dogs they are," Valimaki said. "It's a very whimsical piece."

The project is the first installation in Grove City's Art in the Parks program, a partnership between the Grove City Arts Council and the city's parks and recreation department.

"The mission of the program is simply to put more art in our city parks," said Kelly Sutherland, recreation director. "It's fitting that Breck Park is where the first artwork is being dedicated, since it's one of our newest parks and is our dedicated dog park. It's a nice way to kick off Art in the Parks."

The city's ultimate goal is to install art in each of its community and neighborhood parks, she said.

Valimaki's design garnered the most votes from among six finalists during the 2016 Grove City EcoFest.

"I'm a dog-lover myself, and what I love about this sculpture is that it's such a neat way to welcome people to our dog park," Sutherland said. "It's placed right at the entrance to the park, and you can tell as soon as you see it what this park is all about."

"We originally were thinking of putting the sculpture near the pond at the park, but we realized it worked a lot better right by the entrance where you could see it as you drove up," Valimaki said.

"I've seen dogs, almost with a smile on their face, looking toward the sculpture with their head out the window of the car as they arrive. But I imagine they're just excited to be at the dog park," he said.

"I hope when they see the sculpture, people will feel that they and their pets are welcome," Valimaki said. "It's a real piece of people's art. I'm hoping people will take pictures of themselves and their dogs standing by it. They can feel free to touch it. It's an accessible piece of art."

Valimaki said he chose to use aluminum for the work instead of steel because "it has a lot of the same characteristics as steel, but it's lighter and easier to handle and move. It may oxidize a bit, but it should remain in good shape and weather very nicely.

"I had a lot of fun designing this sculpture and creating it," he said.

"My wife and I have owned a lot of dogs over the years. Right now we have Afghan hounds. They have a different kind of personality. It's cat-like -- they kind of do things when they want and the way they want," Valimaki said.

Immediately following the dedication ceremony, two sterling linden trees will be planted near the sculpture, Sutherland said.

Visitors will be able to help with the tree planting, she said.

Tax-deductible donations toward future Art in the Parks projects can be directed to the Grove City Arts Council, located in the Grove City Welcome Center and Museum building, 3378 Park St., Suite E.

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