Local Metal Fabricator Helps Build Huge, Funky Sculpture in New York City

Categories: Broward News

Georgia O'Keefe, eat your heart out.
Next time you sigh in line at a CVS because your girlfriend wants flowers, be thankful. It could have been worse. I mean, what if she wanted this thing?

Just look at it. How does that happen? What kind of insane genie do you have to rub to make that thing appear? Where would you have to rub said genie?

See also: Makers Square in Fort Lauderdale: Tool Shop Doubles as Social Club

The Sculpture Committee of the Fund for Park Avenue, along with New York's Department of Parks and Recreation, wanted this installation, called "Paper Chase." The agencies rubber-stamped a proposal from sculptor Alice Aycock to create this piece and put it smack dab on Park Avenue, between 52nd and 66th in New York City. For help building it, she came to a small metal fabrication shop in Fort Lauderdale.

That shop is EES Design, and its founder, Eric Small, and head CAD (Computer-aided design) designer, James Vandernoot, tackled the project eagerly.

Eric Small first met Alice when his previous company worked with her on a water sculpture in Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium. He must have said something right, because when Aycock started her Park Avenue project, she thought of Small.

Small left that company soon after, and started saving money to open up his own shop. He eventually did just that, and opened EES Design on 206 SW 16 Court, right next to Broward General. His friend and first real employee, James Vandernoot, joined him a couple years later.

"It went from being one guy in a garage, and now we have employees, payroll, and all this other stuff," Vandernoot says.

By the time Aycock contacted them about Paper Chase, they had the space and equipment necessary to say yes.

Vandernoot, who graduated from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in 2007, says EES Design's ability to process the art on a computer really changed the way Alice worked.

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