On Thursday, April 12, 2018, sculpture “Great Blue Heron” was unveiled at a ceremony at Piney Run Park.

The sculpture was sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council, in partnership with Carroll County Department of Recreation and Parks. “The Great Blue Heron,” is a welded steel sculpture by Sykesville artist Virginia Sperry. The magnificent bird is be located just off shore in Piney Run Park near the boathouse and is a wonderful addition to this outstanding recreational facility. An information plaque is located near the piece that provides more details about the species that is native to this region. It is hoped that this stunning piece of public art will inspire visitors to respect and protect the environment and its inhabitants.

Virginia Sperry is a talented sculptor whose large-scale public works have been on view throughout the country including Connecticut, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa as well as in British Columbia. She has also been well represented in galleries throughout the country. She recently completed a Bio Art Residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Awards for her work include Best in Show for “Tundra,” a piece in the City Art Walking Sculpture Tour in Mankato, MN, as well as Director’s Choice Award for the same piece in Sioux Falls, SD Sculpture Walk. Her work received a Best in Show award at the Carroll Arts Center in 2010 for “Water Pump.”

After choosing to make a Great Blue Heron for the project, Ms. Sperry spent several weeks doing extensive research on the birds. She worked closely with the maintenance staff of Piney Run Park to design a set of pilings to which the sculpture would be attached. Construction of the sculpture began in the spring of 2017. The artist welded rebar and steel rods together to make the armature and then covered the frame with hand-cut steel “feathers”. The piece was finished in February and installed in March of 2018.

The installation has been funded by a Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council with additional funds provided by the Carroll County Arts Council and Piney Run Park Recreation and Conservation Council. The public is invited to the unveiling on March 22. Piney Run Park is located at 30 Martz Road in Sykesville, MD. Reservations are required and can be made by calling the Carroll Arts Center at 410-848-7272.