Delaware’s Boardman Arts Park unveiled a unique new sculpture during a ceremony at the park Saturday. Dubbed the “Unicorn,” the art piece completed its journey from Lagos, Nigeria, last week when it arrived in Delaware on Sept. 28.
Admirers of the sculpture gathered at the park, located at 154 W. William St., to see the unveiling of the Unicorn, which stretches 10 feet in length and stands 6 feet tall. Those in attendance were treated to a unicorn cake, champagne, and cider during the ceremony.
The piece was created by Nigerian artist Ernest Nkowocha, who fashioned the Unicorn out of repurposed tires. Nkwocha attended the School of Art and Design at Auchi Polytechnic in Edo State. Renowned for his ability to turn discarded tires into art, Nkwocha once said in an interview with BBC, “They call it trash, but I see it as raw materials.”
Roxanne Amidon, director of Boardman Arts Park, said the art piece is a tactile structure, and hands-on engagement by the public is encouraged. Children are also encouraged to interact with the piece, which is part of Boardman Arts Park’s Imagination Project. The Unicorn is one of several pieces going into the park’s Imagination Space.
The Unicorn was commissioned this summer and paid for with grants from USA Today and Ohio Arts Council ArtNext, as well as donations by the two local Kiwanis chapters, the Eagles, and individual donors. Nkwocha’s art, which he creates to document the social and political lives in his society, has been limited to European exposure in the past, making the Unicorn a rarity in the United States.
In a press release for the event, Boardman Arts Park called the piece a “significant achievement for the non-profit organization, which operates primarily through grants and donations from the community.”
“The Park is honored to be the home of this new creation by Nkowocha, who has been featured on BBC World News, and whose work has been exhibited worldwide,” the release stated.
Amidon said in the release, “The community has stepped up with monetary support and volunteer effort to bring our Imagination Project to life. Community and Creativity together make all the difference.”
The Boardman Arts Park is opened to visitors every day from sunup to sundown. For more information on the sculpture and the park, following the nonprofit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/boardmanartspark and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/boardmanartspark.