Local artist Jerrod Mays installed a 9-foot metal sculpture in front of the Lodi Public Library on Tuesday morning, the latest of his works displayed around the city.
The sculpture, featuring three powder-coated books stacked on top of one another, is displayed on the corner of Locust and Church streets.
Mays also built “Better Days,” the bus stop canopy on Lodi Avenue across from A&W, in 2009.
His latest piece, which took Mays six months to complete, was commissioned in 2016. The inspiration for the sculpture was the relationship between books and the library, according to Mays.
Mays originally planned to create an open book design that would feature a bench in the book, which potentially could serve as a reading nook for children, but decided that it would not be practical for an outdoor sculpture.
“I would like to find a way to build an indoor bench with that design,” Mays said.
The sculpture cost $6,500, which is half of what Mays would usually earn on a project. The project was funded with development impact fees.
Mays did not mind working with the Lodi Arts Commission and Lodi Library Board of Trustees on the pricing of the sculpture because of its value to the community.
“I just love Lodi so much, and I love people being able to step outside and experience these pieces,” Mays said.
The design and approval of the sculpture required a few amendments to the original plan, which caused the project to take a little over two years to complete.
“This was by no means a quick process. There are many requirements that we have to fulfill before the sculpture can be installed,” Dave Kirsten, a board member of the Lodi Arts Commission, said of Mays’ latest work.
The original design did not include the base needed to mount the sculpture, Kirsten said, adding that the base of the sculpture needed to be secured with outrigger mounts.
After the design delays, the Lodi Arts Commission was glad to unveil the piece and add to the layout and architecture of the library.
“The commission would like to host an unveiling for the community. We are just trying to find a day that works so that all the members of the commission would be available,” Kirsten said.