Steel and paint, 2013
The black-and-blue-painted Grace Gate was commissioned for the passageway between Easton Cemetery and the Karl Stirner Arts Trail. The linear design of the gate portrays an abstract self-portrait of the smiling artist with hands in prayer, yet others see angels in the imagery or references to art and carvings of the Northwest Pacific totem poles.
When walking through to the blue side of the gate, visitors enter a setting that follows the Bushkill Creek—in Cole’s view entering “the flow of life”—a trail lively with runners, bikers, and dog walkers. The black side of the gate leads visitors to a quieter place, encouraging respect for those buried in the beautiful historic cemetery.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Willie Cole is a contemporary American sculptor and a conceptual and visual artist. He is best known for transforming ordinary domestic items and recyclable materials into artwork. Featured in over 50 solo museum shows, he is the 2006 winner of the David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.