Burich Arena will soon be home to Hutchinson’s newest public arts sculpture.
Hutchinson City Council approved the $7,850 purchase of “Slapshot” by a 3-2 vote during its Sept. 8 meeting. Council Member Dave Sebesta and Mayor Gary Forcier were the dissenting votes.
Fans of the Hutchison Sculpture Stroll and motorists who drive State Highway 15 may recognize the hockey-inspired piece, as it was part of the 2019 Sculpture Stroll and installed at the corner of Main Street and First Avenue Northeast, in front of the former Shopko parking lot. The artist is Judd Nelson of Wayzata.
Council Member Steve Cook, who sits on the Public Arts Commission, said the idea to purchase the sculpture came as a way to honor Thomas “Buzz” Burich, who, through the Burich Foundation, has donated often to the city.
Cook noted that Burich is also a supporter of arts in Hutchinson and was serving on the Public Arts Commission in 2013 during planning for the first Sculpture Stroll in town. It was during this time that he commented to Cook that he thought “Slapshot” would look nice outside Burich Arena.
“This was really a project that the Public Arts Commission thought would be a nice way to recognize Buzz Burich for all that he’s done for skating and hockey programs, as well as benefiting the city with some of the contributions he has made,” Cook said. “And it’s doing it in a way that incorporates a lot of the things he’s passionate about, with skating and public arts.”
The cost of the sculpture is $9,200, but after a 25 percent commission the city receives as part of its agreement with artists whenever a piece sells, the cost is $6,900. The city also estimates $250 for a concrete pad to place the statue on, plus $700 for a plaque to go with the sculpture.
The project will be paid for with $3,700 from public arts funds, $2,900 from the Community Improvement Fund, $1,000 from the Hutchinson Hockey Association, and $250 from a private donation.
The statue will be placed near the entrance of the east arena and is expected to be installed before the start of hockey season.
“It’s just a way to say thanks to Buzz,” Cook said.