WEIRTON - She has been a part of the Weirton community for decades, sitting under an oak tree in front of the Mary H. Weir Public Library, quietly reading a book as the traffic goes by along Main Street.
On Saturday, the statue named "Quiet Moments" was celebrated with a "birthday party" sponsored by the art and literary departments of the Weirton Woman's Club, and attended by club members and many others.
"Quiet Moments" was sculpted by artist Taylor "Butch" Frazier Jr. and dedicated on Sept. 12, 1982.
According to Enid Williams, who co-chaired Saturday's 30th anniversary celebration along with Diana Durst, the statue was "a gift to the residents of Weirton from the Art Department," and was the first outdoor sculpture in the city.
The statue is made of hammered aluminum, and was accepted on behalf of the city by then-Mayor Don Mentzer, who also was in attendance Saturday.
Rita Wickham, who was chair of the Art Department in 1982, explained there were more than 200 residents in attendance at its initial dedication, and a public contest was held to select a name.
Area residents and members of the Weirton Woman's Club's art and literary departments came together Saturday to observe the 30th anniversary of the dedication of 'Quiet Moments,' the statue located in front of the Mary H. Weir Public Library. -- Craig Howell
Gail McKenize, left, and Joanne Riffe, sisters of the statue's sculptor, Taylor Frazier Jr., were among those in attendance Saturday. -- Craig Howell
A 'birthday party' was held Saturday in observance of the 30th anniversary of 'Quiet Moments,' the statue located in front of the Mary H. Weir Public Library. The statue originally was dedicated on Sept. 12, 1982 and sculpted by Taylor Frazier Jr. -- Craig Howell
Several in attendance spoke of its importance to the Weirton community.
"Every day I go by, I look to see that statue," said current Mayor George Kondik. "It's a part of us."
Frazier produced 100 sculptures in his life, and two of his sisters, Joanne Riffe and Gail McKenzie, also were on hand Saturday, speaking of his legacy and reading some of the words he wrote while finishing his last sculpture, known as "Earth Portal," located in Ritter Park in Huntington. His words reflected on the legacy he was leaving and of his faith in God.
Frazier would die three days after "Earth Portal" was dedicated, according to his sisters.
Library Director Rik Rekowski thanks everyone who attended the 30th anniversary observation.
"There is so much history, so much art, so much community here," Rekowski said, noting those who have been a part of the library over the years.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, or followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)