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Press Release

Downtown Plaza Landmark Dedication

Posted: Dec 4, 2013

Tracy, Calif. – The City of Tracy announces the dedication of the Downtown Park Plaza Landmark on Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at 4 pm. on the corner of Central Avenue and Sixth Street. The City Council will have a ribbon cutting to unveil Harvest of Progress, a large-format bronze sculpture, by artist Rowland Cheney of Clements, CA. An Artist Meet-n-Greet and Reception will be held at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts immediately following the dedication. 
Harvest of Progress is a 16’ tall figurative bronze sculpture, set atop a 4’ concrete base, featuring a co-joined farmer facing to the east, and a railroad conductor facing the west. This site-specific work references the City’s history and future with homage to agriculture and the railroad. It is a beautiful and durable landmark at the historic City-center, respectfully remembering past generations who built the community, while honoring growth into the 21st century.
Artist, Rowland Cheney describes the artwork: “I wanted to create an image of symbiotic strength and action. A circa-1890’s railroad switchman and a farmer dressed in overalls are symbols of the relationship between farm and rail. The farmer carries a sheaf of wheat, a universal symbol of productivity and fertility, from the wheat-growing era of Tracy’s past. His hand poised to lift his hat and wipe the sweat from his brow. The switchman holds time with a pocket watch and lifts a steady signal lantern. Both figures are immediately recognizable, conveying an attitude of honesty and a work ethic that the community is built upon.”
Rowland Cheney is a celebrated artist and emeritus professor from San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Born in 1943 in Utah, Mr. Cheney was educated in California at Chico State and U.C. Berkeley. He has worked in a broad range of media across his career including bronze, oils, watercolor, and printmaking. Rowland’s work can be found in numerous public collections including the City of Lodi, San Joaquin County Micke Grove Zoo, and the City of Dublin. In addition to his career in arts education, Mr. Cheney has created toy horses for the Breyer Company, and has raised acclaimed Kiger Mustang horses at his ranch and studio in Clements.
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