The Huntsville Museum of Art installed a new outdoor sculpture on Friday, October 1. The sculpture, crafted by North Carolina artist Josh Coté, is a one-of-a-kind whimsical artwork entitled Gracelyn Rose. After four years of planning, the finished work of art stands proudly in front of the Museum for guests and passersby to enjoy.

Donated to the Huntsville Museum of Art and funded by Joyce Griffin, the sculpture features the figure of a hare positioned in a ballet pose on top of a sphere. It measures 11 feet tall and 7 feet wide, weighing approximately 400 lbs. The hare is made of 9000 feet of intricately-woven wire, while the sphere is welded from recycled scrap pipe.

“The organic iron coppery color of the iron patina is redolent of the earth and conjures thoughts of cosmic meteors and the earth’s molten core. The dancing hare leaps from the earth-sphere in a ballet arabesque pose, reaching ecstatically into the inspired higher realm,” explains the artist.

Coté is a self-taught sculptor. He utilizes wire for his works because it connects linear drawing, a form of two-dimensional art, and sculpture, a form of three-dimensional art. Equipped with only needle-nose pliers, he applies innovative techniques to painstakingly hand-manipulate the wire, wrapping around and weaving through itself. His finished works are much like a pen and ink drawing in sculptural form.

On the day of the installation, the Museum invited John Coté, Joyce Griffin, and several local ballerinas from The Dance Company, Inc. to celebrate. Dancers imitated the hare’s position as they posed for photographs.

Gracelyn Rose is a striking addition to the public art of downtown Huntsville, representing the performing arts community just as much as visual arts. The Huntsville Museum of Art thanks Joyce Griffin for donating the funds for this work. It will be on display outside indefinitely.