Sculptures Have Story to Tell

July 28, 2020 8:28am

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Improvements at Children’s Park in Sioux Center have left a mark on the landscape there, and those who frequent the park may have noticed something new – again.  Nearing the parking area as you enter the park, you may have noticed the appearance of a pair of sculptures settled in a flower bed.  A dedication for those pieces was held Monday morning.

The sculptures are intended to tell a story according to Will and Jo Alberda, whose daughters purchased the pieces and donated them to the city.  In his presentation, Alberda cited the ending song in the Broadway Hit, Hamilton, where Alexander Hamilton’s widow sings a song about telling your story.  That’s the intent of the sculptures, Alberda says, to tell a story, but not his.  Will and Jo both taught at Dordt College – before it became university, and were very community oriented with Will serving nearly 30 years on the city council and other service on different committees.  He says he and his wife have left their mark on the community, but their daughters have no mark to leave, until now.

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Left to right: Mayor Dave Krahling, Lorilynn Spronk, Will Alberda

Lorilynn Spronk, the oldest of Alberda’s daughters, was only three years-old when the family moved to Sioux Center in 1964, her younger sister Leila arrived one year later, in 1965.  The two girls grew up here, went to school here, but now live elsewhere.  Lorilynn travelled with her husband from Raleigh, NC to attend the event, but Leila and her husband, living in Centennial CO, were unable to attend.  Spronk says the dedication means a lot to her family because the community means a lot to them.

The senior Alberdas came up with an idea after seeing a similar sculpture while visiting a retired architect turned sculptor and his wife at their home in Spirit Lake.  One thing led to another, and Sculptor William Lieb re-created the sculptures that are now present at Children’s Park.

The inspiration for the sculptures came after watching a Great Blue Heron at the end of their dock.  It moved slowly, in a purposeful, regal manner.  He wanted to recreate the beauty of the Heron and its movements.  Spronk, who had only seen photos of the sculptures until now, says Lieb really captured the essence of the birds and their movements, and hopes they will remain at Children’s Park for many years.

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A plaque will be placed at the site of the sculptures describing the “story” behind them.