"The Shell Seeker"
by Sabra Tull Meyer, 2007
This sculpture was commissioned in memory of former library director Gene Martin. It sits on a bench in the Gene Martin Secret Garden on the southwest end of the building. This life-sized bronze portrays a young boy holding a seashell as he looks into a book in his lap. The inspiration for the sculpture was Martin’s passion for collecting seashells.
Artist Sabra Tull Meyer used her own grandson as a model and then visited the library to observe children reading. While at the library, she asked one little boy to sit on the bench with his book. After watching him hold the book in his lap and cross his legs, she modified her original design for the sculpture to incorporate the posture and gestures of the boy at the library.
The bench on which "Shell Seeker" sits is made from a slab of Missouri red granite, the stone used for the north face of the library and the garden and parking lot walls.
The sculpture was dedicated March 15, 2007 at a reception attended by Martin's wife Marian.
“The Shell Seeker” was commissioned by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library.