Title: Bell Monument
Creator: Rev. Walter Madej, James McDermid
Region: New York Mills
Medium: copper, granite
Description: Wings of copper hover above the bell, providing a canopy to protect it as the New York Mills community has protected its family members and co-workers over the years. The bell is placed on a rock in the shape of a ship, representing the pilgrimage of Polish immigrants seeking a better life in the US. The bell once told textile workers when it was 6am: time to head to work. It tolled again when their lunch break began and ended, when the work day was done, and for a 9pm curfew. The bell was in a tower in the Number 2 Mill until the mills closed down. From 1952-1993, it was installed in the steeple of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church. Reverend Walter Madej, pastor there since 1997 and a talented sculptor, had an idea: to incorporate the bell into a monument to the town's history of respect for work and family. Madej collaborated with fellow artist James McDermid to create a sculpture surrounding the bell. The rock base was donated from a quarry only 20 miles away and moved by a resident's trucking company. Rocks at the base came from the foundation of the original mill, and Gauthier Fabricating in Utica provided space to forge the copper wings.Since the unveiling on July 8, 2000, the second Saturday in July is celebrated as the community's annual Bell Festival.
Subject: Public Art, Outdoor sculpture, Bells, Mills and mill-work, Textile factories
Rights: © Reverend Walter Madej and James McDermid 2000
Find out more:
Dziedzic, Eugene E., and James S. Pula. New York Mills. Arcadia Publishing, 2013. Print. p. 122.
Vanno, Philip A. “Monday Morning Conversation: The Rev. Madej Meshes Religion, Art.” Uticaod. N.p., 9 May 2016. Web. 10 Sept. 2016. http://www.uticaod.com/news/20160509/monday-morning-conversation-rev-madej-meshes-religion-art.
Location: Corner of Main Street and Walcott Street, New York Mills, in the Village Park