A giant silver Bluejay took flight and landed in the Pete Van Kirk Plaza at Dewey Field on Friday, Aug. 31. John Brommel, a longtime sculptor within the Perry community helped to install his last piece of work before retirement and says he could not be happier about his final project.
“(This process) started about six months ago,” said Brommel. “It actually took a little longer because I had a mysterious bout of vertigo for a couple of months and I couldn’t hardly stand up right. Then it all just went away and each day as soon as I’d feel strong enough to I would go into the studio and work on this.”
Brommel is known for various other sculptures located around the city of Perry including the piece dedicated to Pete Van Kirk on Willis Avenue.
“I was going to do two more (sculptures), but I realized that I needed to retire,” Brommel said. “My wife and I want to go RV-ing and I’ll be 68 in November and you can only wait so long to go climb mountains.”
In his upcoming absence Brommel introduced a new upcoming artist to the community. Jim Russel is a sculptor and jeweler who is responsible for the train piece located downtown. Brommel says Russel is an incredibly talented person.
The Bluejay Sculpture seen at the field did not always look exactly as it does today. Brommel says he originally sculpted the crest of the head of the bird in a way that he felt needed to be changed as the project went on.
“The piece was done, ready to bolt to the base and deliver,” Brommel said. “But I cut it (the crest) off and rebuilt it and put another two weeks onto the project in order to make it look the way I thought it should.”
Now that the Bluejay is officially standing tall for all spectators to see Brommel expects it to stay there for another 100 years.
“I feel that as a student it is our first opportunity to experience citizenship. We are part of something beyond our family,” Brommel said. “It really is training for the larger citizenship when we become adults. This symbol is something students should be proud of and proud of their school. I feel like things were very good here (in Perry) already, but I can only hope that having something this expressive will make things just a little bit better.”