By Kevin Kelley
If you’ve been to Westlake Porter Public Library in the last week, you may have noticed something new.
A two-piece wall sculpture, done in a technique called bas relief, now graces the south wall just past the circulation desk. Entitled “The Sky’s the Limit,” one piece displays a projection of the global map; a second piece shows a young girl with an adult who is pointing to the map.
“The piece is designed to convey the passing of knowledge from generation to generation,” explained Porter Director Andrew Mangels.
Mangels told West Life that the artwork, made of polished copper and aluminum, brightens up the wall on which it was installed July 30. The copper sections often reflect sunlight, the library director said, giving the relief a dynamic feel.
The man in the relief is Allan Bishop, a research engineer at NASA’s Glenn Research Center who died in 2006. His wife, Jeanne Bishop, commissioned the work in his memory and donated the money to have it created.
The globe projection includes a metal chord that represents the orbital path taken by the space shuttle during many of its missions. Among the projects Bishop worked on during his 36-year NASA career was the docking of the shuttle to the International Space Station.
According to artist Don Lundstrom, the shuttle’s path in the relief crosses above Westlake because many of the community’s residents are interested in space exploration.
“The girl is a person who is curious about space,” explained Lundstrom, a North Canton sculptor who created works for many public institutions, including churches, museums, universities and libraries. Jeanne Bishop, a native of North Canton, liked a sculpture Lundstrom had made for a library in that city and hired him to create the work in honor of her husband.
Jeanne Bishop is an accomplished scientist in her own right. A former science teacher at Westlake High School, she continues to serve as director of the planetarium at Parkside Middle School. A past president of the International Planetarium Society, Bishop has written dozens of scholarly publications and once received a grant to study the astronomy of native Americans.
“My husband always thought that libraries were important, and he loved to read,” she said, explaining why she chose to honor him at Porter. “The Sky’s the Limit” represents the importance the Bishops placed in inspiring the next generation to learn about science and the world around them, she added.
Her husband volunteered at the planetarium at Parkside and also coached Westlake High School students in numerous Science Olympiad contests.