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Fletcher Benton

The estate of late California artist Fletcher Benton has donated his abstract sculpture “Tilted Donut No. 7” to Lincoln. It will sit atop a perch in Trago Park, just east of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

A 5,500-pound, rust-like metal sculpture valued at $550,000 will soon greet Trago Park visitors, Antelope Valley Trail trekkers and drivers on Antelope Valley Parkway.

Private funds will pay for the delivery of the sculpture called "Tilted Donut No. 7 — Broken Line" by the late California artist Fletcher Benton, Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department Director Lynn Johnson said Thursday. 

The piece features an open-holed form at its center and is made from Corten, a steel designed to form a rust-like appearance with exposure to weather, a news release said.

Benton died in San Francisco in June, and his estate donated the sculpture to Lincoln because of friendships the artist had with Lincoln businessman Robert Duncan and George Neubert, former director of the Sheldon Art Museum, a news release said. 

From the 1960s through the 1980s, Benton was a university professor in California and then focused on abstract painting and making large metal sculptures late in his career, the release said.

His piece "Balanced/Unbalanced" sits southwest of Memorial Stadium on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

The newest piece in the city's public art portfolio called Vancouver, British Columbia, home from 2009 to 2011.

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"This monumental piece by a well-known artist is a wonderful addition to our city's growing collection of public art," Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said in the release, thanking Duncan and Neubert for their work to bring it here.

It will be installed on Trago Park's west edge and surrounded by mulch, Johnson told members of the parks department's advisory group Thursday.

Its new home will be just off the Antelope Valley Trail, which crests near there, and the piece will sit high enough to be visible to drivers on Antelope Valley Parkway, Johnson said.

Public Art Lincoln reviewed several locations in the city's public art master plan and chose Trago Park, which stretches from R to Vine Street in north Lincoln, because of its landscaping and visibility.

City parks employees will help assemble and then install the piece in the park later this month, he said. 

A public event to celebrate the gifted work will be held later this fall.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

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