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Final Grooming for 'Rabbit' Sculpture

April 22, 1998|MIMI KO CRUZ

Called "The Rabbit," a 12-foot-tall sculpture Tuesday became the latest artwork to arrive at Fullerton College's public garden.

Richard M. Johnston, 55, and his 20-year-old son, Jacob, created and donated the copper-and-steel artwork, which now sits on the southeast edge of Lemon Street and Chapman Avenue.

When the Johnstons finish touching it up, college officials said, they will cover up the towering piece and formally unveil it Friday during the city's 34th annual "A Night in Fullerton" festivities.

The annual event features free visual art, music, drama and dance programs at 11 locations throughout the downtown from 7 to 11 p.m. The sculpture's unveiling will be a highlight of this year's celebration.

Richard Johnston, an art professor at Cal State San Bernardino, said the piece, estimated to be worth about $30,000, is intended to "provoke your imagination. I think the piece demands a dialogue. I'm hoping the viewers will enlist their life experiences when interpreting it."

He said that, for him, The Rabbit is a symbol of virility and masculinity--"rugged and strong."

Johnston, whose sculptures are on display in permanent collections throughout the United States and Japan, said his donation is an altruistic gesture.

But, on the selfish side, his creation gets to sit on a busy corner that he calls "the best in Orange County."

"I'll get a lot of viewers," he said.

College officials said Johnston's piece indeed will get many looks and will serve as the "gateway" to the sculpture garden, which was dedicated 24 years ago.

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