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Help Bring Giant Public Art Sculpture to Bay View

Recently, Bay View resident and artist Jeff Jackson spoke to the Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council about his dream of bringing a giant fisherman sculpture to the old Bay Bridge, just across the bay from Ottawa County.

"It's really a passion of mine," Jackson said of the project he calls 'Fishin on the Bay', which he thought of in early 2018.

From the late 1920s until its demolition in the late 1980s, the old Bay Bridge carried millions of vehicles across the bay from Erie County into Ottawa County, replaced by the Edison Bridge just to the west.

After the bridge's demolition, the tiny village of Bay View lost more than half of its traffic, falling on hard times.

"It was knife in the back for the village," Jackson said of the bridge's demolition. In the years since, the old bridge has become a popular fishing pier, as well as a spot to watch birds in the migrating seasons but has largely remained dormant.

But recently, there's been a breath of fresh air and ideas in Bay View, with investments made in local businesses and restaurants like Rayz on the Bay and the Bay Bell restaurant. The housing market has also been hot, with new construction popping up all over.

However the village still lacks something - a centerpiece - an enticing draw to bring people in to the sleepy fishing village of just over 600 residents.

Jackson's dream is a sculpture of a 27' tall bright blue fisherman that would stand at the northern end of the old bridge approachment, overlooking Sandusky Bay.

In the beginning, the project generated interest from local businesses and private donors, nabbing several grants from Erie County.

After taking a pause during the coronavirus pandemic, Jackson wants to get started on fundraising for the sculpture again.

Speaking to the GPCAAC, he hoped people would come from all over to see the sculpture, helping to boost the village's name and drum up traffic once again.

It's a unique opportunity for investment in local public art, he said. He hopes local businesses, tourists and residents would help to put the fisherman in its new home.

Costs for the project are estimated at about $48,000. Jackson has secured about $14,500 in grants and donations. But there's still a long way to go.

The Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council is proud to support Jackson's dream and serve as the coordinating nonprofit, to help bring his dream to reality. Please consider donating to this project.

All donors will have their names recognized at the site.

All donations are 100% tax deductible as well.

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