Painted steel, 2013
Artist Karl Stirner designed the iconic red arch specifically for the head of the trail that bears his name. As might be expected, Stirner toiled over this work. Over three years the design and structure changed at least five times, according to KSAT Inc. Executive Director Jim Toia’s recollection.
“Karl wanted to create the perfect entry for the arts trail — a work that would not overwhelm, but instead invite the public to examine the subtlety of the sculpture’s curves as it frames the sky and complements the curves of the Bushkill Creek,” Toia says.
The piece stands as one of the artist’s final major works.
Stirner brought new life to metal that had been discarded, whether from Bethlehem Steel, shipwrecks, or his favorite scrapyard. He fused natural materials with manmade and juxtaposed smooth surfaces with rough and pitted ones to form organic shapes. He created a drama of contradiction, playing thick against thin, flexible against inflexible.
Also on the trail is Stirner’s Hounds of Hell, which uses leftover material from Bethlehem Steel.