Renew Newton commissions Ol’ Lonely sculpture

Renew Newton commissions ‘Ol’ Lonely’ sculpture
 
Date March 08, 2006
Section(s) Local News
   
 
Special to the Daily News

Renew Newton, a community betterment group affiliated with the Jasper Community Foundation, has announced the commissioning of local sculpture artist Nick Klepinger to create a bronze life-sized sculpture depicting Maytag‘s advertising icon “Ol’ Lonely” sitting on a bench, including a young boy and Bassett hound, “Newton.”

The commission has been made possible through the collaboration of the Maytag Corporation Foundation, the Iowa Sculpture Festival and the Arts Connection of Jasper County.

The Renew Newton group is anxious to accomplish two important objectives for the future of Newton in commissioning this work.

The first, the group said, is to preserve the image of quality and dependability that characterized Maytag products and workers during the past decades.

The second goal is to identify with the Iowa Sculpture Festival (IFS) that is now in its fourth year. There are now more than 35 pieces of sculpture in Newton and over the years there is an expectation of adding many more. Sculpture is hoped to become an identifying feature for the city and be the basis for attracting visitors for tours.

“I have been selected to do a number of important sculptures over the years, but none has excited me more than the prospect of creating a sculpture of the Lonely Repairman,” Klepinger said. “It is part of me, my family and the community where Linda, my wife, and I spent our lives and practice our art forms. I am grateful to have been selected and pleased with the confidence that Renew is placing in my artistic ability to create something very special for Newton.”

It is expected to take several months before the project is complete — perhaps as late as the fall of this year. The site selected for the finished sculpture will be Maytag Park, but just where in the park has not been finally decided upon.

“The Maytag Corporation Foundation is proud to be a partner with Renew Newton, the Iowa Sculpture Festival and the Arts Connection of Jasper County on this unique project,” said Michele Walstrom, director, internal communication and community relations for Maytag. “Maytag‘s Ol’ Lonely Repairman is a character that people from all over the world recognize as a long-standing symbol of dependability. Since Newton is the ‘home of Maytag‘ it is only fitting that Ol’ Lonely become a part of the community’s public art collection for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

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