Oct. 15 2015 11:18 AM

Roadside sculpture designed to attract attention

"Stop and Smell the Roses" by Craig Mitchell Smith
Ty Forquer/City Pulse

THURSDAY, Oct. 14 — Drivers on Lansing’s west side may have noticed a new roadside attraction earlier this year. The large sculpture, “Stop and Smell the Roses” by local artist Craig Mitchell Smith, was officially dedicated last week.

Ty Forquer/City Pulse

While Smith is best known for his glass art, the 16-foot sculpture that sits near the intersection of Canal Road and West Saginaw Highway is made from stainless steel. The work is designed to catch the eye of drivers in the high-traffic area.

“I wanted to do something as big and flashy as I could,” Smith said.

Well, not too flashy. His original plan was to give the sculpture a polished, mirror-like surface. But he thought better of it.

“It would have blinded drivers,” he said, looking out at the busy intersection just yards away.

The sculpture sits in front of Delta Township’s Township Hall Building, across the street from Horrocks Farm Market. The township, with financial assistance from Lansing Economic Area Partnership, put out a call for proposals for the project, looking for a piece that would encourage passers-by to “stop and smell the roses.” That was all the inspiration Smith needed.

“I took it literally,” he said.

The sculpture is comprised of several interlocking shapes inspired by rose blooms. Each of the pieces was hand-cut with a plasma torch and hand polished. The finished sculpture was transported to the site in a flatbed tow truck and then anchored into its permanent home. A small courtyard with benches and a rose garden was built around the sculpture. Smith is very pleased with the result.

“It gets people’s attention,” he said.