Sunday, November 4, 2012

Art in West Bloomfield

One of my goals when I became West Bloomfield Treasurer in 1988 was to clean up all the various bank accounts and the number of banks that we used for business.  We had more than 25 depository accounts in banks all over the township.  I got that down to three accounts in two banks by the time I left in 2008.

We had also had lots of money sitting in different funds in our internal accounting system.  They were mostly small balances that had not been cleared out and many were from donations we received for various purposes.

One of these accounts had money that was donated by a civic group of women, the Countryside Improvement Association of West Bloomfield.  The money had been sitting there for many years.  The Township was supposed to purchase something for the new Town Hall if and when it ever got built.  Well, that finally happened in October of 1989.

So, in the early 1990's,  I contacted the group and asked what they had in mind.  They suggested a painting for our new facility.  

I knew of a painter who lived in the Township, Heiner Hertling, and we contacted him.  Today, a beautiful oil painting of a woman (Heiner's neighbor) looking out across Orchard Lake to Apple Island hangs in Town Hall.

Most people walk past this picture and likely never notice it or know how it came to be there.  Next time you are in the Town Hall, I suggest you do more than walk by.  It is really a lovely oil.

Heiner Hertling also designed the Township logo.

Charter Township of West Bloomfield Logo

The story of the logo is interesting because a developer actually threatened to sue us for copyright infringement. He claimed that he had copyrighted all printed usage of a heron.  We told him to sue us.   And we never heard from him again.

When you drive into Town Hall you will see a sculpture of two herons on your left.  These were also created by Mr. Hertling and were a gift from Herman Frankel in memory of Lillian Sue Warner, our longest serving Treasurer (she bested me by six months).

Here is a picture of the sculpture taken many moons ago.  It is difficult to see both herons, so stop by someday and see it for yourself.

The Great Blue Heron is the Township symbol, with a heron rookery in the Nature PreserveThese birds are fantastic to watch, especially when flying overhead. 

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