Steven Anderson’s Metal Sculpture

The “Old Rugged Cross” with a new slant

April 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Just in time for Holy Week for one West Michigan church by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL In 2009 the church family of Cornerstone United Methodist Church of Caledonia moved into their beautiful new church home at the intersection of 84th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue. From humble beginnings in 1990, in the basement of Pastor Brad Kalajainen and wife Colleen’s home, Cornerstone has grown to a church family of some 1,100 members with weekly Saturday evening and Sunday morning services now approaching 2,000 attendees. The new church facility was created as an engaging and welcoming facility that would become a destination for the community. Toward that end they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Designed and constructed in a contemporary/industrial style, the Cornerstone facility was meant to be nontraditional and flexible, demonstrating stewardship through the wise use of resources and respect for the environment. Set back from the busy intersection, the building lacked the look of a traditional church, prompting the church’s administrative council to look for a visible symbol to identify the building’s purpose to the countless hundreds of daily passersby. A decision was made to erect a large, prominent cross in the center of the circular driveway in the front of the church. Not just any cross, mind you, but a cross to be designed to mirror the image of Cornerstone’s logo—that being a slightly tilted cross “meant to convey the church’s personal style of being more casual and less rigid,” said church member Jay Brooks, the logo’s designer. Enter Rockford metal sculptor Steve Anderson of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture, who was brought to the church’s attention by Rockford resident and Cornerstone member Tracy Bowers, Cornerstone’s director of outreach and coordinator for the cross project. Squire readers will recognize Anderson as the creator of, among other notable sculptures, “Water Dance”—the depiction of three leaping fish that grace the face of Rockford’s Rogue River Dam. Locally, other prominent Anderson’s sculptures are the “Tom Brown Fire Hawk” located at the front entrance of the Cedar Springs High School football stadium and “The Rockford Fighting Ram” at the front entrance of North Rockford Middle School. Quickly recognizing Anderson’s genius, the church commissioned the sculptor to design and create a gleaming and textured-surface, stainless steel cross. Church leaders embraced […]

‘Waterdance’ installed — let the celebration begin

June 17, 2010 // 0 Comments

by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL As dawn broke on Tuesday morning of this week Anderson’s Metal Sculpture installed and attached a much-anticipated work of art to the face of Rockford’s iconic Rogue River Dam. Titled Waterdance, the sculpture is composed of three stainless steel fish leaping for joy amidst swirls of water.  The grander than life-size fish, synonymous with the Rogue River, are a rainbow trout, a steelhead, and a brown trout. Utilizing a specially constructed boom, powered by 11 muscular and eager helpers, each fish was lowered from the top of the dam to be anchored to the dam’s foundation by Steven Anderson below.  From start to finish the 1 ¾ hour well- choreographed installation went off without a hitch, much to the great pleasure of all involved.  The finished piece was then draped from view for what was to follow later in the evening. And so, just prior to this year’s first Tuesday evening performance of the ever popular Huntington Rogue River Blues series, all in attendance were invited by Rockford City Manager Michael Young to gather at the Rockford Dam Overlook for an unveiling and dedication ceremony of “something really special for the town by a very, very talented man, Sculptor Steve Anderson.”  Young went on to say, “Waterdance will be the centerpiece of the City’s summer long celebration of Rockford’s 75th anniversary of being incorporated as a city in June of 1935.” Young further noted that the DDA, The Rockford Area Arts Commission, and the City of Rockford underwrote the material costs of the sculpture.  For his part, Anderson tells us his creative costs of design and layout along with construction labor and installation were Anderson’s Metal Sculpture’s gift to the Rockford community. Anderson, a CedarRock resident, expressed his gratitude to all who played a hand in the creation and installation of Anderson’s Metal Sculpture’s most prodigious undertaking to date.  He asked that special recognition be given to his sons, Chad and Troy, for being co-creators of Waterdance. He also recognized Randy Everett of Rahm Industrial Services, Inc. and his 2-man crew, Dave and Nester, for prior preliminary concrete repair and hardware installation at the dam site.  And finally to his pre-dawn installation crew consisting of: (in no particular order) Chad and […]