Monday, April 12, 2010

Moving Day!

People don't get to see the process of how Gary Haven Smith moves his sculptures into the gallery. It is frequently done on weekends when there are fewer people to inconvenience. This time it happened on Sunday, April 11.

Gary brought along his son, Devon, to help this time. As Gary and I both get older it takes more time to complete the process and we are thankful for a younger set of muscles.

Gary has a flat bed truck with a crane attached to one corner. After putting on the emergency brake and putting blocks under the tires Devon and I put jacks under each corner to keep the truck from tilting too much as the heavy loads moved from the flat bed to our front step.

Large straps are attached to the pieces for hoisting them up. A hand held control is used to guide the crane around all the obstacles- street signs and the large McGowan Fine Art sign above the door. While Gary operates the controls I helped to guide the pieces away from the brick wall. Devon lined them up on the waiting dolly on the top step.

This bench is the only item that gave us a scare. As it was lowered to the top step the weight was enough to lift a back wheel off the ground and moot the effect of the emergency brake. Despite all the safety precautions the truck started rolling forward. There was a bit of screaming and a bit of running as Gary jumped into the truck to apply the brakes. I had visions of the bench going through our front window and the crane taking out the front columns of the building. Who said art was boring!?

After the dolly is pulled into the gallery an engine winch (the large orange bit of equipment on the back of Gary's truck) is used to remove the sculpture from it and place it on the floor. Some of the sculptures are light enough (a relative term) to be moved by hand. Many need to be placed in the perfect place with the winch- with slight adjustments made by muscling the piece into place.

The tops of some of the sculptures are literally placed by hand. Here is a picture of Devon lowering the top of "On the Way Up." Gary guided it on to the pins on the pedestal. I would guess that the top weighs about 60 pounds- which is harder to lift than you might think!

After 6 hours of doing this the guys went home. I spent another hour or so doing some clean up and hanging the painting in the front window. I hate to leave the front window empty over night. I went home, ate supper and sat down. I was too tired to read. My weekend chores will have to wait until tomorrow.

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