CELORON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A new statue of Lucille Ball now graces a park in her hometown in upstate New York.
The new sculpture is six feet tall, weighs 800 pounds — has 2 and half inch heels — and is made out of bronze. It was unveiled in a special ceremony in Ball’s hometown of Celoron on Saturday.
A statue of Lucille Ball in her hometown of Celoron, New York caused many to gasp when it was unveiled in 2009.
Locals dubbed the six-foot tall bronze sculpture “Scary Lucy.”
The version by sculptor Dave Poulin, was so thoroughly panned for looking absolutely nothing like the comic actress that fans launched a Facebook campaign last year with the name, “We Love Lucy! Get Rid of this Statue.”
After Poulin’s offer to redo the statue for free was declined, a townselection committee looked at dozens of sculptors before going with Palmer, best known for her sculpture of Pope Francis, created for his visit last year to New York City. Private donors are covering the estimated $250,000 cost.
Artist Carolyn Palmer was selected and spent nine months studying Ball, by watching re-runs of “I Love Lucy.”
Palmer said she wanted to show her subject’s energy, glamour and confidence, evoking movement with her dress blowing in the wind.
Harder to capture, Palmer said, was Ball’s penchant for wearing “sort of painted-on makeup,” which doesn’t always translate in bronze. “She’s a stunning woman. I had to do a little bit of exaggerating in certain areas to bring that out.”
Celoron Mayor Scott Schrecengost said he’s hoping the work, which he’s seen, puts to rest “a very bad story that started a year ago.”
Saturday would have been Ball’s 105th birthday.