Dan Rattiner's Stories

‘Stargazer’ Fixed for Summer

There comes a point when you are driving out to the Hamptons where everybody looks out the window and says “we’re almost there!!” It’s the big red “Stargazer” sculpture on Manorville Road, an almost 50-foot-high deer looking at the sky.

In recent months, something has been wrong with “Stargazer.” There were pieces of it falling off, there was fabric ripped off. It appeared to be unattended. It was getting worse.

Now, however, “Stargazer” is all fixed up. Considering this is not some public works in a park but a sculpture owned by its maker in a friendly farmer’s field, this is a good thing. It’s also a bad thing.

The good thing is that this thing is repaired. The artist who designed “Stargazer,” Linda Scott, passed away two years ago at age 77. Her longtime partner David Morris, an engineer, carpenter and builder of her work, has pledged to keep it up. Last week, with some funding provided by Ben Black and Jarred Kessler—the founders of EasyKnock, an internet real estate company—and with a cherry-picker truck provided by Anthony Leo of Leo’s Electric, Morris spent a week working way up on the side of it and fixed it.

But it is only a fix. The bad thing is that the construction is reaching the end of its life. And another bad thing is that, with it all repaired, you wouldn’t think that was the case. So what’s the problem?

“I built Stargazer with a wood framework, pressure treated plywood sheathing, synthetic stucco on mesh and special foam board to last 10 years. It has lasted 25 years,” Morris told me. “What I have now done are patches, Band-Aids. It needs to be fully rebuilt. Otherwise other parts will begin to tear and break. I can redesign it with greater strength to last 50 years. I will need $100,000 to do that. And I will need help to do that.”

Morris is putting together a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money. It will be a nonprofit as part of the Arete Living Arts Foundation and in the next week or two should be put up. If you are interested in helping out, you can write to stargazerfunding@gmail.com. You can also visit the project at lindascott.org.

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