Harr sets her artist’s eye on Towne Street Bridge

Chad Knudson photos

These miniature “sketches” represent two of the four ideas Pamela Harr is working on for placement on the Towne Street Bridge. When finished

Having completed four large bronze sculptures for public display along the Merrill Avenue corridor, local sculpture artist Pamela Harr is shifting her attention to smaller scale work for Towne Street.

She was on hand Tuesday night to share new plans for public art with the Dawson County Commissioners.

“About a month ago I had a vision of having statues on the Towne Street Bridge,” she said, adding that four small statues would sit on the pillars on both ends of the bridge.

Because the statues would need to fit within the footprint of the concrete pillars, Harr said she decided children with animals would make good subjects.

According to Harr, she and Mike Newton have made contact with Mayor Jerry Jimison, the Montana Department of Transportation in Helena and MDT Glendive District Administrator Shane Mintz about the project.

“I met with the mayor and he didn’t foresee any problems,” she said. “Shane Mintz said I need an encroachment easement, but he told me not to worry about it because he would talk to Jack Rice.”

Her vision for the four small statues include different scenes that evoke childhood in Eastern Montana. She said she has completed four “sketches.” One includes a girl with a goose, for example, another a boy with a paddlefish.

“I like it. Very nice,” Commissioner Gary Kartevold said.

Harr said it would be the only bridge with sculpture in the state of Montana, and would make eight works of public sculpture in Glendive.

“That ought to be enough to get tourists off the Interstate,” she said.

Previous works by Harr include a veteran’s memorial at the Eastern Montana Veterans Home, a tribute to Ty Milne on North Merrill, a statue of three dogs waiting for the school bus on the DCHS campus and a tribute to pioneer woman Narcissa Whitman in Our Park.

“I had wanted to do more down main street,” she said. “But I tabled that until I get this done. That’s my dream.”

During a Feb. 13 City Council Streets Committee meeting, Public Works Director Jack Rice mentioned Mintz had contacted him regarding the encroachment easement.

At that time some members of the Street Committee expressed reservations, but since no formal request had been made, they didn’t

each would be about three feet in height.

discuss the issue at length and took no action on it.

Committee member Mike Dryden asked whether Harr should be advised of any city restrictions.

“I’d say if they went in the proper order they would get permission before they started any designs,” Jimison said.

While Harr wasn’t asking the county for any specific permission, she did win their endorsement of the idea.

“I think they’ll be a great addition and your work has added a lot to our community,” Commissioner Dennis Zander said.

Reach Chad Knudson at rrpub@rangerreview.com.

“I had wanted to do more down main street. But I tabled that until I get this done. That’s my dream,”
Pamela Harr, Glendive artist