The BIRDS say thank you in Summerville

Lena Cox holds a miniature of the Canada geese sculpture that will be created by nationally known sculptor Paul Rhymer. The geese will be life size.

Every so often you hear about just how wonderful people can be, and when it also involves the arts, the results can be shared with total strangers as well as friends.

Such was the case with a recent gift to Sculpture in the South honoring one of it's staunch supporters, Lena Cox.

Those who love Summerville, and it's small-town Southern charm can thank Cox for her early vision of the town.

She was on the first board of the DREAM project that promotes the town. Ditto for the Sculpture in the South project where sculptures are commissioned from famous artists and placed around town for all to enjoy.

Cox has been quietly supporting both organizations through the years, not taking credit for all that she has done. She has always wanted to make Summerville a better place.

That's why her friends wanted to do something special for her as a Christmas present, and as a thank you. Cox has pancreatic cancer and has been sick, so something very special was called for.

So an email went out from Nancyjean Nettles at Beidler Forest wanting to raise enough money for a sculpture to honor of this important friend of the arts. Nettles had no idea that the love Cox has demonstrated for the community was about to return in spades.

The email raised enough money to pay for a pair of life-size Canada geese by Paul Rhymer that will be set out in Town Square. He's a nationally known sculptor and a taxidermist for the Smithsonian Institution. He also has other works in the Summerville collection.

The love that poured out also raised enough for two more sculptures still to be decided.

And the presentation, well, about 50 people were expected, but more than 200 showed on a rainy day just after Christmas at the small chapel near the square. It was packed and overflowing, but everyone wanted to let the Cox family know just how much they are loved.

Cox's legacy of love will live on as part of the BIRDS project (Birds in Residence in Downtown Summerville), and tourists will get the chance to go on a scavenger hunt that will take them through the parks of Summerville to find these wonderful works of art.

Now that's an exhibition of love.



Reach Stephanie Harvin at sharvin@postandcourier.com or 937-5557.

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