Sculpture dedicated to David Grunwald to be installed at Academy Charter School
On Monday, a sculpture dedicated to a teenager murdered in November will be installed at Academy Charter School in Palmer.
After months of sculpting, Holly Gittlein is putting the finishing touches on her latest piece called "Infinite Flame."
Gittlein said the light it carries is dedicated to David Grunwald, who captured the hearts of many in the Mat-Su Valley after his death.
"I wanted to really bring a lot of light to David's case because, you know, there is a dark side to it, obviously, but what I've found especially through working on this piece is that it's a real community piece," Gittlein said.
Edith Grunwald, David's mother contacted Gittlein near the beginning of February to see about creating a piece in her son's honor to be placed where he spent 7th and 8th grade.
"I'd drive by the school after David's death and I would just get a good feeling about the middle school, the K-8 Academy Charter and I'd noticed there was nothing in front of it that was glowing," Grunwald said.
Gittlein, who was in Fiji at the time, began to sketch what will soon stand as a 13 foot sculpture, weighing about 1,000 pounds.
While the top of the piece has a copper ball in the middle as a placeholder now, it will eventually be replaced with another ball full of some of David's childhood items.
"I feel David's spirit around me a lot and I talk to him daily so it's been a powerful experience as an artist, it's really created itself," Gittlein said. "I feel like I'm just some sort of conduit for a higher purpose."
A dedication gathering will be held Monday at 11 a.m. at Academy Charter School.