Artist: Ryan Calloway
The Peacemaker Bench
GJ: How were you contacted to create this piece?
RC: Jennifer Olmert with Upstate Mediation Center reached out. Greenville Art in Public Places was partnered with for funding, and [the city of] Greenville helped with finalizing the placement.
GJ: What is the inspiration for this piece?
RC: Upstate Mediation Center approached me to commission a commemorative bench to honor the annual Peacemaker Award. The inspiration was to create a bench to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of UMC. The slight curve in the bench seat is a design element that I and the UMC board of directors collaborated on to encourage communication and bring the bench visitors closer together. A plaque with details is installed on the boulder beside the bench to add the annual peacemaker’s nameplates each year, starting with the 2019 honorees, Victoria Chance and Mary Anne Inglis, who created the nonprofit My Neighbor’s Voice. This bench will hopefully raise awareness about mediation and the UMC.
GJ: What materials did you use to create this bench?
RC: Powder-coated steel, concrete, brass bolts and stainless steel letters.
GJ: How long did it take to create? What was the creation process like?
RC: The project took two to three months to plan and design, and six months to create.
The bench was completed in October 2019 for the annual Peacemaker banquet at The Rutherford, and installed in its permanent location in Cleveland Park in August 2020.
Full-scale templates were made to begin the project. Metal bending, welding and cutting tools were used to create the metal bench. I decided to use concrete as a seat material to add a different material to the design and embed the stainless steel peacemaker letters in the bench seat surface.
GJ: What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
RC: I like the stainless steel letters embedded in the concrete seat of the bench. This helps title and identify the artwork and gives character to the bench.
GJ: When was it completed?
RC: The bench was completed in August 2020.
It is located in Cleveland Park on Woodland Way Circle near Shelter 2 and the Rock Quarry on McDaniel Avenue in Greenville.