An Open Letter From Christine Rojek

Christine Rojek is the artist who won the competition to install a piece of sculpture at Womrath Park.

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FRANKFORD COMMUNITY

Dear Frankford Residents:

It was a pleasure to meet so many of you at the community meeting and presentation of the Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture proposals on January 27 th at the Second Baptist Church. Your input, openness to new ideas , and your enthusiasm for the artist’s process of design was encouraging and heartwarming.

My proposal, entitled Confluence, is a cluster of three sculptures that celebrates the evolution of Frankford. My ideas sprung from the two primary reasons that Frankford exists: Frankford Avenue and Frankford Creek. The trail, or road, lead a steady stream of people through the area and the creek created a flow of energy and opportunity . The fast moving water provided the source of industry followed by the birth of the community. The creek was the reason the people stayed.

THE CENTRAL FEATURE

My goal as an artist is to create one clear icon for Frankford surrounded by a “timeline of images ” that celebrate the evolution of this neighborhood from open land to a diverse community. The large central feature will be a dynamic “Rushing Water Form” as the symbol of the creek and of life. The sculpted water shapes will flow around a brightly colored waterwheel that represents industry, tenacity, and the potential for new growth.

PANELS SURROUNDING THE CENTRAL FEATURE

Clustered around the central f eature (Rushing Water with Waterwheel) will be two decorative panels . Together , they will define an area to gather, stroll , and learn. The panel located to the South ( History Panel ) will describe the open landscape, early architecture , and events from Frankford’s past . The panel on the North ( Community Panel ) will describe more recent memories, current events , and urban architecture.

COMMUNITY INPUT

As part of my research for this sculpture, I’d like to invite you to share your memories and impressions of Frankford with me. I plan to interpret y our stories and special images into a large drawing , or graphic design. This design will then be cut into metal to form the decorative panels described above. Below are some of the questions you might consider:

1. How has the natural landscape changed along the road?

2. How has the natural landscape changed along the creek?

3. How was the creek used for recreation in the past and how is it used today?

4. What do you know about the beginning of industry in Frankford? Did any family members work in the mills?

5. What stories have you been told about the construction of the elevated train and how it changed Frankford? What do you remember about your first ride?

6. What stories or images of historic Frankford are most intriguing to you?

7. What is your favorite piece of architecture from early Frankford? Does this structure still exist?

8. What is your favorite storefront or piece of architecture from contemporary Frankford?

9. What parts of the neighborhood do you feel define Frankford today?

Thank you, Christine Rojek

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