Artist Just Emerson’s bear sculpture was about to find a new place to hibernate outside of Carbondale, but Carbondale Arts and community members John Runne, Julie Naus and William and Patricia Hutzley came together to buy the sculpture to keep it in town.
In December, Emerson approached Carbondale Arts with a need to sell the sculpture. Until now and for the last few years, the bear has reigned over the Carbondale Nature Park for dog walkers and archers to gaze at from below and drivers to rubberneck at while zipping past the industrial park.
Carbondale Arts — along with Runne and his wife, Naus, and the Hutzleys — came to the rescue to purchase the sculpture with the agreement that it would stay in Carbondale.
“I’ve loved looking at that piece and did not want to see it leave our town,’’ Carbondale Arts Executive Director Amy Kimberly said. “I am extremely grateful that art lovers such as John, Julie, Patricia and William felt the love, as well, and stepped up to make this happen.”
Carbondale Arts has now donated the sculpture to the Carbondale Public Arts Commission as part of their private collection. The bear may move from its current spot, but a new location is yet to be determined.