Artist: Yuri Tsuzuki
Ladders of Life and Guardians of Augusta
GJ: How were you contacted to create this project?
YT: In spring 2019, the Greenville City Fire Department requested I design a sculpture for the new Station #3 in keeping with the aesthetic of the neighborhood.
GJ: What is the inspiration of this piece?
YT: Almost everyone has a story about the Augusta Street Fire Station, and fond memories abound. As an artist, I wanted to capture the neighborhood’s heartfelt gratitude to the GCFD. Integrity, honor, pride and sacrifice were the words chosen by the GCFD to be engraved into the ladder sculpture, which is made of half-inch stainless steel.
I chose ladders because they reach for the sky and are an apt metaphor for life’s achievements. The intertwining of the ladders symbolizes how integral the fire station is to the neighborhood. The image of the flag and the ladder is also reminiscent of 9/11.
GJ: How long did it take to create, and what was the process like?
YT: Like most public art projects, Ladders of Life and Guardians of Augusta took 18 months from initial concept to installation.
GJ: What was your favorite part of the sculpture?
YT: My favorite part of the sculpture is the Dalmatian, named Chief Turbo. He is red, and the concrete pedestal he sits on has chips of blue terrazzo. This makes for a sculpture that is red, white and blue.
GJ: When was it completed?
It is located at 2101 Augusta St. in Greenville.