REMEMBRANCE Sculptor devoted his life to art
The OBSERVER’s View
One of the most heartbreaking aspects of Dave Poulin’s story in the Jamestown and Warren, Pa., areas is what happened in the aftermath of the “Scary Lucy” fiasco.
Some took joy in berating and making fun of the sculptor, and lost amidst the hubbub of a private commission gone wrong was the tremendous good Poulin did in the Jamestown and Warren areas.
Poulin created 120 commissioned public works, several of them in the Jamestown and Warren areas. Adults today remember with fondness the days Poulin spent in their schools, teaching them both the art about which he was passionate but also working in English and history into his lessons. Students were able to place a piece on sculptures and watch Poulin work in a public work area at the school, something we’re sure ignited a passion for the arts for some of students who otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to such expert sculpting.
After Scary Lucy, however, Poulin gave away his sculpting tools and moved to South Carolina to teach welding to career and technical education students before passing away suddenly from a pulmonary embolism.
It is encouraging that, in the weeks following Poulin’s death, his work is being reexamined. In Warren, members of the Street Landscape Committee are discussing putting the city’s five Poulin sculptures back on public display, with a suggestion made by Mike Holtz, Warren public works director, to install the works in Crescent Park with a plaque and a story to give people some sense of why Poulin’s work is important in Warren.
We hope similar consideration is given in the Jamestown area to reexamining Poulin’s work and making sure that future generations know more about both the sculptures and the man who made them.
Dave Poulin devoted his life to art and to education. He may not still be with us, but Poulin can still inspire and teach future generations some lessons about following one’s passion.