Officials behind the public art project at Canalside certainly are not saying so. But you might get that impression from some Cincinnatians, who are a bit sore that a city-funded public sculpture by one of their most beloved artists was unceremoniously transferred this month to
The piece was funded with a
But that's when the
"It was a perfect situation for a character that is well-known here in town. I think we just didn't see you guys coming," Checco said. "I want to cry just because I would have liked to see it stay longer, but I totally am supportive and congratulatory of this thing happening for her because it's completely deserved."
The "Shark Girl" character, created by artist
Checco said that Millard fulfilled her obligations and owns the sculpture herself, so she was entitled to do whatever she wanted with it. And it's found a hospitable home in
Millard, whose work has been roundly embraced by Cincinnatians, said in an interview Thursday morning that she was impressed by the reaction the sculpture is receiving in
"I am really used to making things and putting them out there and having very little reaction. I think most artists get used to that," Millard said in a phone interview Thursday. "It's been so fun to watch it. I've never had anything like this happen."
Originally, Millard intended the sculpture to face the water so that whoever sat next to her would engage in a kind of calm and contemplative moment. But
"As soon as we installed her down there, within a day, people turned her around so that they could have their photo taken with her facing the water," Millard said. "I left her that way, so that's how she was installed when she came to you guys."
"There is definitely a different response coming from
Thompson said she's not surprised that
"As a curator, I am so excited for Casey to be able to share her work with another city. Her work strikes a chord with people, where they can really feel that they relate to it. There's something about this little Victorian girl's body with a shark head, which embodies Casey's own fears," Thompson said. "For an artist to be so genuine and really express themselves in the way she has through this character, it makes us all kind of love her and the character."
While Checco begrudgingly agreed with that notion, she couldn't help being a little bit wistful about what the city lost.
"It is bittersweet," she said. "We applaud our working artists. We're glad that they're here. But it's a little bit like your children: Don't you want them to go out into the world? Yeah, sure you do."
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