Westminster Christian School now has two world-class sculptures on campus, the three-ring metal sculpture in front of the elementary school building and the new sculpture painted white and located in the circular driveway of the high school. Both are the result of Art in Public Places, a national program in which 1.5 percent of new building construction cost is allocated for art. Since its inception in 1973, Miami-Dade County has acquired or commissioned more than 700 works of art through the program.
Internationally-renowned contemporary architectural designer and abstract sculptor Hans Van de Bovenkamp, who is from Holland, created “Haverstraw,” a combination of circles and waves that punctuate the theme of the TIDE and Lighthouse Buildings. Made of steel, it is 13’ tall, 12’ wide and 7’ deep.
If “Haverstraw” looks vaguely familiar, that’s because its iconic “sister” sculpture by Bovenkamp is displayed in front of the Lowe Art Museum on the campus of the University of Miami. Every time WCS art students visit the Lowe, they insist on having their group photo made with that sculpture. In fact, the Class of 2018 chose to contribute to the purchase of the sculpture as their class gift.
Getting “Haverstraw” to Westminster was a three-year process. Once it was selected, the WCS Board of Trustee approved it. The Village of Palmetto Bay’s Art in Public Places committee then had to sanction the purchase. Permits were pulled, an architect and engineer designed the foundation, the concrete foundation was constructed, a trucking company transported it from the north end of Long Island, NY, on a flatbed truck to Miami, and, finally, a crane was used to lift Haverstraw off of the flatbed truck onto the circular driveway of the high school.
Unfortunately, “Haverstraw” was damaged in transit, but our own Chef Francisco Urrego, who is an underwater welder, repaired the damage, reassembled the sculpture and completed the installation over Thanksgiving.
Now that Haverstraw is installed, the Architecture Design and Drawing class will offer paver designs to be arranged around the sculpture making it accessible to pedestrians who want to get a closer look--and maybe take a selfie or a group photo.