Story last updated at 3:10 p.m. Thursday, December 19, 2002

Poopdeck signs rehung
by Carey James
Staff Writer

photo: news

  Photo by Carey James, Homer News
Homer Flex High School senior Doug Kendrick, along with Kevin Walker and David Smith, not shown, work Tuesday on replacing the stone border that surrounds the Poopdeck Trail signs with a cedar post. Kendrick also cleaned several inches of snow off the signpost.  
Last summer, Homer's first true public artworks were erected at each end of the new Poopdeck Trail running through the center of town.

Within weeks, the signs and signposts, created by artist Leo Vait, were vandalized, and the signs on both ends destroyed. The vandals were later caught, and funding was obtained to replace the signs.

Vait hung the two new signs this month, and plans to work with the Homer Flex High School students, who have been involved with the project since its inception, to replace the existing stone base with a cedar post border.

The signposts mark the entrance of the trail on Pioneer Avenue and Svedlund Street and the exit of the trail on Poopdeck Street near the Sterling Highway. The lower signpost was also damaged during the vandalism attacks using a rock from the base. This prompted Vait's efforts to replace the rock with a less destructive border.

The signs, made out of cast epoxy, look similar to the former signs. Vait used the old signs as casts for the current ones, and added sand to a swirl below the lettering to mimic the texture and color of the artistic signposts.

Vait said that while the signposts were the center of the art effort, seeing the signs hanging again finished the look.

"The sign really completes the sculpture," he said. "That one component makes it look much bigger."

Vait said he has received comment from many familiar with the project who noticed the signs hanging again, and said people were pleased to see the art resurrected.

"It's not just a neutral thing. People do notice it and respond to it," Vait said.

While Homer has several artworks in public places, Vait's piece was the first held open for a bid and selected by the community. The artist said he hopes the signposts and signs will be the first of many public art projects in the community.

Carey James can be reached at cjames@homernews.com.

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