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The eye of the beholder in Hamburg

   What do you get when you mix a highway reconstruction project with modern art?

   The Village of Hamburg is about to find out.

   It planned to commission four sculptures to adorn the four new traffic circles that came with the Route 62 reconstruction project.

   It bonded for $130,000 for two sculptures, and went to private donors to raise funds for the others.

   One of the village-bought artworks, "Sail Form," is already up at Main and Center streets. The other is awaiting installation at Buffalo Street and Legion Drive.

    But the private part of the funding hasn't come through for the other two pieces. Donors have failed to pony up the approximately $100,000 or more that would be needed to grace the remaining circles with artworks.

   Leaving the circles empty isn't an option, officials say. Drivers need a visual cue that they're approaching something unusual in the middle of the road.

   So on Thursday the Village Board considered alternative centerpieces for the two roundabouts - more typical municipal accessories like flagpoles, lamp posts and clock towers.

   Are two sculptures not enough? Or too many?

   --- Fred O. Williams

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