When I first saw the Scrap Book Boy sculpture on Main Street (between Robson and Macdonald streets) in the Mesa, AZ permanent downtown collection, I thought it was a companion piece to Booked for the Day. In the former piece, a young boy rests on his stomach looking at a big book, while in the later piece a girl sits on a bench reading. I wondered if they were by the same artist. A little research showed me the two sculptures are not related except by proximity.
Dan Hill created Booked for the Day, and the creator of Scrap Book
Boy is Tom Bollinger. Also, Scrap Book Boy seems to be a one of a kind piece, while different versions of Booked for the Day are on display in more than half a dozen cities.
Tom Bollinger’s biography calls him
a visual artist, living and working near Phoenix, Arizona. Born in North Dakota. Bollinger is a self-described “Sculptor”. He is inspired by his observations and life experiences and inspired by what he describes as the “hoped for..” in humanity. Bollinger seeks, by way of his exploration, to discover what is beneath the surface of what we are and what we see.
I was unable to find much information about Scrap Book Boy online. Bollinger’s list of Commissions and Placement referes to it as
Boy with Book, cast bronze, life size figure, Public Art Program, Mesa, AZ.
However, the plaque on the ground next to the young boy looking at the book uses the name Scrap Book Boy and tells a sad story of the loss of Bollinger’s younger brother.
Upon closer inspection of the book, you really can see the pictures etched from the original scrapbook owned by the senior Bollinger.
So while this piece of art commemorates the sad loss of a child, it also incorporates a cool technique that lets the viewer share in parts of the family history.
To learn more about public art in Mesa, view the brochure that goes along with the self-guided tour of the city’s sculpture collection. You can also read other posts I’ve written about public art in Mesa like the Big Pink Chair, the Mesa Pioneer Monument, Quackers, and Humpty Dumpty.