Frederick Art Club’s Statue Proposal Gets Nod from Mayor
For Immediate Release: October 4, 2019
The Frederick Art Club Steering Committee
[Frederick, MD] City of Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor has given the go-ahead to The Frederick Art Club’s plan to install a statue at a site along Carroll Creek Linear Park. The public art project honors renowned fashion designer and Frederick native Claire McCardell.
The club’s Claire McCardell Project calls for erecting a 7 1⁄2 foot bronze sculpture of McCardell in a prominent location at the east end of Carroll Creek Linear Park in downtown Frederick. The approved site overlooks the creek, with McCutcheon’s Apple Products to the south, the restored United Knitting Mills building across the creek to the north, and the impressive Galleria Fountain just to the west. The Mayor confirmed that the city “intends to hold this site for the future installation of the Claire McCardell bronze in 2020 or 2021.”
Mayor O’Connor applauded the project as “in keeping with Frederick’s vision of public art that enriches our community and reflects a variety of media and artists.”
The City’s Public Art Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously recommended the project in August and September 2019, respectively. In addition, numerous individuals and businesses have contributed or pledged significant financial support.
“We’re experiencing a groundswell of support throughout the community. Now, with the Mayor’s endorsement, we’re really poised to spread the project’s wings,” according to Linda Moran, who chairs the project steering committee. She cited the early guidance and encouragement provided by Bob Smith, Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation, for “making the concept feel truly achievable from the start.” “It’s clear the City of Frederick appreciates the power of public art and recognizes Claire’s significance to Frederick’s history,” said Marilyn Bagel, president of The Frederick Art Club. “This will be an important addition to the city’s landscape.”
The club is gearing up now for a private launch in early October, followed by a ticketed public gala on theevening of November 6 billed as “Women Wild for Claire.” Tickets to the “Wild” event, sponsored by PNC,will be available in early October.
The Frederick Art Club has launched a $209,000 fundraising campaign, with plans to unveil the finished statue in 2020 or 2021. Sarah Hempel Irani, an award-winning sculptor based in Frederick, has been commissioned to create the sculpture. She has already sculpted an 18-inch model of the full-scale statue that is being cast for presentation this month.
Kirolloff Design of Frederick will create a wayside exhibit that tells McCardell’s story.
Claire McCardell (1905-1958), who grew up on Rockwell Terrace in Frederick, became internationally credited with creating the American Look in sportswear. Her iconic designs defined decades of fashion and continue to influence the industry today. Among many honors, she received the Coty American Fashion Critics Award, appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1955, and was named one of the most influential Americans of the 20th Century by Life magazine. Her work is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Maryland Historical Society and Heritage Frederick, among others. She is buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
The Claire McCardell Project is a fund of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, making all gifts tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To make a gift, visit www.FrederickCountyGives.org/McCardell or mail a check to The Community Foundation of Frederick County, 312 East Church Street, Frederick, MD, 21701 with “Claire McCardell Project” noted in the check’s memo line.
About the Art Club
Established in 1897, the Frederick Art Club is one of the nation’s oldest art clubs.
Initially a small league of women art students, it evolved into a Frederick institution with the long- standing mission to teach and practice art, enlighten members, and generate an appreciation of the value and beauty of art in the broader community. Today, the club has nearly 100 members and has taken on the Claire McCardell Project as its gift to the local public art landscape.