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The man behind the bears

July 4 this year will be filled with family, friends, fireworks and fun, but one event that the Centennial Task Force has been looking forward to for the last year is the unveiling of the Legacy Project. You can read about all the details here, but we want to focus on one part (or should we say one man) of the Legacy Project, the artist and sculptor of the three bronze bears; Alan Hamwi. Alan, 62, is an Upper Arlington native who has been sculpting since he was a teenager.

Alan has many statues on display throughout central Ohio to include Harold Cooper at Huntington Park and animals at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. But this project is special to Alan because Upper Arlington is where he spent most of his life, growing up as a kid and then raising his children in this community.

Bronze is Alan’s specialty and the medium he prefers to use when sculpting because of its history an permanence.

Alan first starts by making models of the sculptures seen below.

The next step is to carve the sculptures out of styrofoam.

After the carving process, Alan covers the styrofoam in clay and shapes the clay to the exact version of what the sculpture will look like.

After each bear (or mold) has been sculpted in clay, Alan drives to Florida to have them cast in bronze.

To see the finished product, join us on Wednesday, July 4 at 7 pm for the Legacy Unveiling at Centennial Plaza located at the Northam Park

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