Troy artist’s Da Vinci interpretation on display for Sculptures on the Square

Miami Valley News

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) — Works of art are on display in Troy for the annual Sculptures on the Square event.

The theme this year is “Taking Flight.”

William Smith, artistically known as William III, is one of 20 artists whose idea was chosen from about 250 submissions. He is also the only artist from Troy featured in this year’s exhibit.

“Da Vinci’s ‘Flying Machine’ was one of the first– if not the first– idea that popped in my head,” says William. “I was flattered to be chosen for a piece that was more of a concept than a finished piece.”

While Da Vinci only sketched the ‘Flying Machine,’ William took on the challenge of building it.

“The biggest concern is where the two wings come together. That’s a lot of weight and tension coming at one apex, and I had some great concerns if it was actually going to pull it off,” says William.

William first built a 1/15 scale model to use it as a pattern before building the bigger half scale one.

“I told my wife the small scale model was more challenging just because it was so tiny and I have big hands. So I guess I was convincing myself and everyone else that the big one would be easier,” laughs William.

The wingspan of the finished piece can stretch about 15 feet, and the sculpture stands more than eight feet tall anchored down outside of Troy Hospital.

“The wings primarily–there’s no screws or nails. They’re actually held together by board holes with wooden dowels tapped into them, and then there is some twine that’s around the intersections as well,” describes William.

His work of art took a few months to create.

“I lost my mother a couple years ago and I know she’d probably be proudest of all of it, but I still feel like she’s looking down,” says William.

William’s interpretation of the ‘Flying Machine’ will be on display outside Troy Hospital until October 4.

“I think Da Vinci never stopped thinking. I think he thought all kinds of things. I think he would think — obviously without knowing the man — that he would think anybody following any sort of creativity even if it was mimicking his or interpreting his, he would celebrate that,” smiles William.

In addition, William also has paintings on display inside the hospital, and his “Birds in Flight” paintings are featured on the second floor at Haren’s Market downtown.

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