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Our West Bayfront Installs New Public Art, Sun Gate, in West Bayfront

Published: 06/29/2021

Workers install a new art piece, "Sun Gate" in the Our West Bayfront.

Workers install a new art piece, "Sun Gate" in the Our West Bayfront.

Our West Bayfront installed a new vibrant work of art, Sun Gate, on Friday, June 25 in the West Bayfront. This sculpture piece is located at West Second and Cascade streets at the top of Cascade Trail, a paved multi-purpose trail that connects the West Bayfront neighborhood to the waterfront.

The sculpture is designed by Tom Ferraro, Ron Bayuzick, and Ed Grout, a team of artists who have worked together on several West Bayfront public art projects including a mural that was installed at Bayview Park in 2020 called The Pontiacs.

“The sculpture creates an archway welcoming pedestrians and bicyclists traveling to and from the Our West Bayfront Neighborhood to the Erie Bayfront,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro said the artwork was designed intentionally around the surrounding environment

“The lines of the sculpture create movement symbolizing both the waves of the bay and the foliage found along the bluffs. They intersect with the circular shape of the sun shining onto the bay and the OWB neighborhood. The sculpture also carries design cues found in the mural work from students in the Strong Vincent Middle School “Art Force” along with engagement with neighborhood groups,” Ferraro said.

Marco and Elisabeth “Betsy” Monsalve ’70VMC, founding members of the Our West Bayfront Board of Directors from 2017-20 and former residents of the Our West Bayfront neighborhood, generously provided the donation that made the project possible. Mrs. Monsalve is also a Gannon University trustee.

“Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhood and the Bayfront have had a fascinating and historical relationship dating back the early 1800s. We see the Sun Gate as both a gateway and a symbolic connection between the two,” Marco Monsalve said.

The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority originally constructed Cascade Path in 2015 as a connection between the West Bayfront neighborhood and waterfront.

“Every connection from the neighborhood to Erie's bayfront is beautiful in its own way,” said Brenda Sandberg, executive director of Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority. “The project enhances the existing beauty and creates a destination.”

The sculpture was fabricated by Gene Davis Sales and Services based on the original artists’ design.

In addition to support from the Erie-Western PA Port Authority, the Our West Bayfront thanks the City of Erie and the Bay and Harbor Neighborhood Association for their support and involvement in the project.

About Our West Bayfront:

Our West Bayfront is a citizen-led neighborhood improvement organization dedicated to the revitalization of Erie's west bayfront neighborhoods. OWB seeks to improve quality of life in the West Bayfront by promoting civic involvement, thoughtful development, historical preservation and neighborhood pride. OWB was created in 2014 by residents and community partners from Erie’s West Bayfront neighborhoods with support provided by Gannon University. The 843-acre area served by OWB is bounded by the Bayfront Connector to the west, West 12th Street to the south, Sassafras Street to the east and Presque Isle Bay to the north, and is home to more than 13,000 residents.