More about Dimitar Lukanov and his vision for the MVGO bridge artwork


Public officials revealed earlier this week that the artist who will create the two sculptures for the north and south entrances, as well as the south gate to the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge, will be sculptor Dimitar Lukanov. So far, officials have not been willing release any preliminary sketches of the proposed artwork, however, we can get a sense of what Lukanov’s style is like by looking at some of the sculptures he’s created in the past. I reached out to Lukanov yesterday by email to get permission to show some of the creations from his portfolio and to see if he had any insight to add. He quickly sent back pictures and wrote a little about the inspiration and vision he has for the new sculptures he will create for the bridge.

In regards to the upcoming project, Lukanov wrote,

I am very excited to be selected for this ambitious and multifaceted project. I am also appreciative for the several in-depth meetings with city and elected officials. Those discussions along with extensive site visits were extremely productive as to inspire and guide my vision for the works.

About the bridge itself, he wrote,

The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Bridge is a unique, floating-above-the-river park. Witnessing the never-stopping movement of the majestic river is a contemplative and deeply rewarding experience. The space is an outstanding recreational outlet where urban infrastructure, natural splendor and people all come together in a distilled moment of calm and serenity. The three pieces (for I see the Waterfall Gate as a mobile, functioning piece of sculpture) will pay homage to the resplendent Mohawk River.

He gave some hints as to what the sculptures might look like.

Mother and Child at the Mohawk River is an optimistic, whimsical, life-affirming bronze composition. The Mohawk Valley was George Washington’s American Revolution breadbasket. As such, sculpture’s imagery is familiar to all, and what can be more endearing than a beautiful woman, radiating goodness and her smiling, caring child. It is a symbol, a neighbor, us.

Waterfall Gate invites movement, embodies the constant flow of the water, and the river. It is a flow along, within nature. Just like its counterpart at the other end of the park – the 20ft tall DreamRiver – it would be an optimistic gesture of levity and transparency.

Lukanov describes his style as “transparent” and strives to weave each sculpture he creates into its natural background. From his past works we can see how he uses space to allow light and the natural scenery to flow through and become part of the work.

Mayor Michael Villa said yesterday that he hopes to have Lukanov present his ideas at a Common Council meeting in August.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.