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Coalville residents dress up 'immodest' statue

By Carole Mikita   |  Posted Jun 3rd, 2013 @ 8:46pm


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COALVILLE — Two years ago, the Summit County Public Art Advisory Board and the City of Coalville decided to beautify Main Street.

The first installation includes the "Leaf Dancer," and the statue has raised a few eyebrows. Many describe the sculpture as controversial and are asking whether the leaves are covering enough of her body.

Some residents even began putting clothing on the statue.

"We thought it was immodest," said Bridget Wright, a Coalville resident. "So we started taking old clothes that we didn't need anymore, too small or too big or whatever, and we dressed her up."

Others followed Wright and dressed the artwork at night. One day, "Leaf Dancer" was wearing a grass skirt and coconuts. Another, she looked like a sidekick to Captain Jack Sparrow.

Far from being offended, the artist saw this as a town embracing his art and said he was fine if the residents didn't like it.


If people aren't talking about it, why do it? You've got to have some people on both sides … If there isn't some for and against (it), what have you really accomplished?

–Milt Neely


"If people aren't talking about it, why do it?" said Milt Neely, the artist behind the statue. "You've got to have some people on both sides to make it interesting, really. If there isn't some for and against (it), what have you really accomplished?"

The mayor soon realized that "Leaf Dancer" was attracting a few tourists, and the city began encouraging people to dress "Leaf Dancer" up. Residents 14 years of age and older can fill out an application at City Hall or on the website.

"We're looking for diversity, we're looking for taste, and we (are) looking for somebody who promises to dress it by midnight every Thursday," said Lola Beatlebrox, who is on the advisory board.

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