• Rolling on the River

    by Joel Perlman

    Dedicated 2010


    Over the past thirty years, Joel Perlman has been creating large-scale works of public sculpture for sculpture parks, universities and private and corporate collections across the country. Selected to create a major new sculpture for the Monticello Sculpture Gardens, he was invited to visit Lewis and Clark Community College in the spring of 2009.

    During his stay, he spent time at a guest lodge high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. He came away from that visit struck by the power, breadth and the total majesty of the Mississippi River as it rolled along its course. 

    Working primarily in fabricated bronze or welded steel, Perlman chose to create a new sculpture cast entirely in bronze. Through the material support of the Olin Corporation, the sculpture, "Rolling on the River" was cast in solid bronze at the Elliot Gantz Foundry in Farmingdale, New York. Comprised of a number of complex cast elements welded together, the completed sculpture weighed over three tons.

    A natural brown patina finish for the sculpture was selected to complement the landscaped setting of the college. Elevating the sculpture on a limestone base presented the sculpture with a commanding presence against the backdrop of the ponds, gardens and historic buildings of the campus. The presentation also established a visual dialogue with the many other major works of art on campus. 

    The title of the sculpture comes from the refrain “rolling on the river” from the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Proud Mary," which became the signature song made famous by Ike and Tina Turner. 

    "Rolling on the River" is situated atop an eleven and a half ton block of Mississippi limestone donated by Scott and Lori Adams. "Rolling on the River" was commissioned by the Lewis and Clark Community College Foundation with additional support from the Olin Corporation. 

    Joel Perlman is an American artist, born in 1943.