Matt McConnell, Weathervane
The Pullen Park Carousel was made circa 1900 by master carver Salvatore Cernigliaro of the Dentzel Carousel Company of Germantown, Pennsylvania. It contains 52 hand-carved basswood animals, 2 chariots (or sleighs), 18 large gilded mirrors and 18 canvas panels and a Wurlitzer 125 organ made in 1924 by the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company of North Tonawanda, New York. The Dentzel Carousel Company was the first American carousel company and while thousands of carousels were made in the U.S., there are only approximately 200 antique carousels left today and fewer than 25 of those are Dentzel carousels and only 14 of those remain in operation.
Raleigh resident Matt McConnell holds degrees in architecture and industrial design from NC State University’s College of Design. He has created large-scale sculptures, architectural installations and lighting designs.
Weathervane was commissioned by the City of Raleigh at the suggestion of People for Parks, a citizen’s group working closely with the City on the renovation of Pullen Park and its carousel house. Built in 1911, the carousel house contains one of the few fully operational Dentzel Company carousels in the country and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Weathervane sits atop the carousel house and is the artist’s tribute to the carousel’s history and its colorful, beautifully crafted animals. Made of stainless steel, glass and aluminum, it measures 6 feet tall by 8 feet wide by 6 feet long.McConnell Studios Website