Interlochen sculptor's colossal creation becomes tribute to all women
GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, MICH. (WPBN/WGTU)--It's hard not to notice Interlochen sculptor Doug Gruizenga's work. His works are big, think giant aluminum sculptures outside airports and in parks all around the country kind of big.
As he puts it, “I am not sure, some people hate it, some people love it, but very few people walk by and don't notice it."
At his Birdlip Bay Studio, he has used aluminum to create fairly industrial looking works of art, which have proven to be popular with both private citizens as well as municipalities. But his ability to create goes beyond the industrial and geometric. In fact, Doug can also create lovely lily's.
"For years I had special women in my life and I would make them a small lily like sculpture and it wasn't exactly a lily. I use a little artistic license on it, but I would give them to my daughter, her partner or my mom, or other women that I found inspirational."
One by one, he sculpted small flowers, until this past Christmas, when something stirred inside of him. Doug says "I get a little teary eyed because I have a daughter. Women have been subjugated by white men forever in our society and they are breaking free of that, that's an impressive thing."
He was witnessing a women's movement. A big one that he through deserved a bigger lily. Doug says "so I thought what if I make one of these little sculptures bigger, instead of 4 inch petals it would have 4 foot petals."
Three months of cutting, grinding, buffing and polishing and his giant tribute to the women of the world has taken shape. Doug says "I just put the final coat of finish on it yesterday. This morning I woke up, I saw it was International Women's Day and I thought what a better day to bring it out of the studio than International Women's Day."
Doug, inspired one day while listening to Simon and Garfunkel, has titled his tribute to women “Sail on Silver Girl”.