The Ashland, Kentucky riverfront park is home to the largest collection of mixed-media bronze sculptures in the world. These sculptures, created by Gines Serran-Pagan, his daughter Sinia, and his son Francisco, were designed to represent the city’s cultural and historical significance, particularly in relation to its metallurgical industry. Serran-Pagan, who was born in Spain and resided in New York City, gained international acclaim for his works that delve into themes of identity, culture, and social issues. Upon visiting Ashland to see a friend, he was immediately enamored with the region’s abundant history and vibrant community.
After two years of development, the sculptures were unveiled in January 2020 and include,
- Venus is the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. In this context, the sculpture represents the “Tree of Life” and symbolizes the city’s love for its people, culture, and natural beauty. Venus is depicted holding an ash tree branch in her hand, drawing upon the mythology of Venus as the most beautiful woman in the world and the wife of Vulcan.
- Genesis, the first book of the Bible, describes the creation of the world and all living beings, including humans, by the Abrahamic God and is the foundational myth in many Western religions. This abstract sculpture, inspired by images from Paul G. Blazer High School’s yearbook art designs, represents the strong faith found in the community. The five rods in the sculpture represent the four natural elements (earth, air, water, and fire) and God.
- Vulcan is the Roman god of fire. In this context, the sculpture symbolizes the city and region’s history with metalworking and the strength of its hard-working residents. Vulcan is depicted hammering five rods on a forge.