Guitar Man sculpture reinstalled at Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, Indiana. “Guitar Man” is an original outdoor artwork at the Jon R. Hunt Plaza located in front of the Morris. The metal sculpture has been reconstructed and relocated to the northeast side of the plaza following an accident involving a vehicle driving into the plaza and damaging the sculpture.
Local sculptor Lawrence “Beau” Bilenki, originally from London, Ontario, and founding artist at Fire Arts Studio, 305 East Colfax Avenue, South Bend, volunteered his time to reconstruct the damaged sculpture. Beau studied sculpture with Tuck Langland at Indiana University. His work has been exhibited at the South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend Regional Airport, Indiana University Gallery, Saugatuck and Marshall Michigan, Wisconsin, New York and Chicago at the Vance Galleries on Michigan Avenue.
Beau’s first commission piece, Inukshuk” was installed August 1, 2015, for Potawatomi Conservatory. In this year of his first commission, Beau was compelled to reconstruct “Guitar Man” because of the passing from cancer of the original artist, Richard Peterman, of Grandville, Michigan. Since Beau was recovering from benign tumor surgery and a member of Fire Arts where he welded the piece, this was his way of giving back to the community of South Bend.
The original “Guitar Man” sculpture was created by artist Richard Peterman of Grandville, Michigan, and installed in 2009. Mr. Peterman used mostly recycled materials with wire welding and brazing to create the sculpture. Mr. Peterson contributed to a cleaner environment for 30 years by using many recycled automotive related materials for his artwork. Mr. Peterson died of cancer in late 2009. Funding for the original “Guitar Man:” was made possible through a grant from the Roland W. Goheen Trust Foundation.
Be sure to visit the reconstructed “Guitar Man” the next time you are in the plaza or prior to a show at the Morris.