As a boy, Tyler Stinson welded dragonflies with stones glued to the wings and sold them at kids' booths at art shows . But the kids' booth is far behind him as he shows work around the country and is now Belleville's artist in residence for the Sculpture in the City program as well as an exhibitor at this year's Art on the Square.
The sculpture program started in 2007 in conjunction with Belleville's Art on the Square and has placed more than 50 pieces of public sculptures throughout the city around places such as the police station, city hall and throughout downtown.
Stinson, a Pennsylvania native, will have a 12-foot, stainless steel sculpture unveiled during this year's Art on the Square, which will be held May 18-20 in downtown Belleville. That piece will be added permanently to the Sculpture in the City collection.
Sculptures that can be viewed by anyone as they drive, bike or walk through a place have a special appeal to Stinson.
"I really do think that we are constantly in communication with our environment. I want to have a positive influence (on people's public environment)," Stinson said.
A $10,000 donation from the Belleville law firm Mathis, Marifian & Richter helps fund the Sculpture in the City program.
"From the time that Art on the Square started, we've been a supporter; we've been a sponsor. We've bought art pieces from the show every year," said firm attorney Patrick Mathis.
The firm has local art throughout its office which overlooks the square in Belleville and even has a gallery space inside for visitors to see and possibly purchase pieces from local artists.
"(Stinson's) work is really exciting and exceptional and the fact that we are going to have a piece of it for our collection is thrilling," said Sculpture in the City chairperson Dede Farquhar.