Sunday, October 14, 2012

Harvey Pekar Memorial Desk

The boy completed his fall soccer season 5-2-1, and after the final game at Denison Field, I whisked him to the CH-UH Main Public Library just in time to catch the unveiling of the Harvey Pekar Memorial Desk Sculpture.  All of Cleveland Heights, it seemed, was on hand to celebrate the man, and this fitting tribute; an interactive art installation on the second floor of this library, which was one of Harvey's favorite places to be. 

 Joyce explains the piece.

It has been about a year since Harvey's wife, Joyce Brabner, originally announced her intentions for the sculpture. Shortly after his death, she has wistfully remarked that she wanted his grave at Lakeview Cemetery to be marked with something you could color or write on, with chalk. When Lakeview politely informed her that they have a policy of not letting anyone mark the monuments, she contacted the library. Between a successful Kickstarter campaign and positive support from, well, everybody, the piece became a reality.

Local artist Justin Coulter created the statue, which sits atop the desk. Anyone is welcome to peruse the drawers, and use the items inside, which include pens, pencils and paper, as well as copies of some of Harvey's favorite books.

You may touch the artwork.

The back of the statue features a chalk board divided into comic book panels for anyone to write or draw upon. I was about to do a little cartoon of Harvey but the boy for some reason talked me out of it. That's all right, it is there to stay and I will compose something on some ordinary day. Maybe take up the whole thing, tell a whole story!


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