Community racing to raise funds to purchase sculpture

Photo by Leslie Herrick/Dearborn Community Fund
The Dearborn Community Fund is seeking $16,000 to purchase the sculpture “Gaze” by sculptor James Oleson Jr. If the money isn’t raised by Oct. 14, the statue will be purchased by the city of Hastings.

$16,000 needed to keep resident Mustang called ‘Gaze’ in Dearborn

DEARBORN – And they’re off!

It’s a race to the finish line to raise funds by Oct. 14 to purchase “Gaze,” the horse sculpture on the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center grounds and make it a permanent addition to Dearborn’s public art collection.

Affectionately referred to as “Dearborn’s resident Mustang,” “Gaze” has been on loan to the community for two years as part of the city’s Art in Public Places – Midwest Sculpture Initiative. The sculpture was to remain in Dearborn through April 2014, and discussions focused on raising the $16,000 over a longer period of time in order to purchase it.

A recent phone call dramatically changed the time frame.

The city of Hastings recently made an offer to purchase “Gaze,” and would like to move it out of Dearborn immediately. Thus the challenge. Funds to purchase “Gaze” must be secured by Oct.14 or he gallops off to Hastings.

“Gaze,” at the south entrance to the Ford Center, has become a favorite of residents young and old. The creation of artist James Oleson, “Gaze” is made of recycled materials and found objects, a fact that does not become apparent until closer inspection. Then the reaction is one of awe.

Donations of any amount are sought to help purchase this life-size figure of a horse for Dearborn residents and visitors to continue to enjoy. Donations of cash or checks are welcome.

“Gaze” is on display through Dearborn’s Art in Public Places – Midwest Sculpture Initiative, a project of the Dearborn Community Fund with support from the east and west Dearborn downtown development authorities.

Donations towards the purchase of “Gaze” can be made to the Dearborn Community Fund, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Such donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted under law.

For further information on how to contribute to the “Gaze” challenge, contact the DCF office at 313-943-5478 or send an email

All donors will be included in the community support acknowledgments and invited to join in the “Winners Circle” dedication celebration tentatively scheduled for May 2014.

Donation checks should be made payable to the Dearborn Community Fund and mailed to: DCF/Gaze, 15801 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, MI, 48126. Enclose a self-addressed envelope. In the event the $16,000 goal is not met, checks will be returned unless the donor specifies otherwise.

The mission of the nonprofit DCF is to support cultural and recreational programs and projects to enhance the quality of life in Dearborn.