Plymouth Businessman Displays Massive Sculptures for Community to Enjoy
Plymouth just got some new characters in town thanks to the generosity of a local business owner, Pierre Coll. Three new sculptures stand tall on North Park Avenue, sure to attract locals and tourists alike.
For the past 50 years, Pierre Coll has called Plymouth home. He takes frequent trips to his home country of France, and during one of his trips there, he came across an impressive sculptor.
The Artist Behind the Sculptures
“I noticed this young sculptor that was doing beautiful sculptures with ¼ inch rebar,” said Coll. “This young man was making sculptures by bending those rebars with his own strength and welding them together. I have never seen anything like that anywhere in the world.”
The artist’s name is Joel “Djo” Vallon, and The Patriot Ledger described him as a self-taught artist who only started sculpting with rebar four years ago.
Coll has formed a lasting relationship over the years with Vallon, who will be in Plymouth for a few more days finishing the installation.
And he’s even willing to give other towns some beautiful sculptures during his stay.
Coll was so moved by Vallon’s work that he commissioned him to create a whale that Coll hoped to display on town property.
The Story Behind the Whale
Coll shared a beautiful story that was told to him by a Wampanoag woman named Linda Coombs. The story went that some Wampanoag people transformed into whales in order to save their lives.
“God would turn them into a whale to escape from the invasion of white people, or remain as Wampanoag,” said Coll. “A lot of them chose to be whales, and in the Wampanoag tradition, the whale is known as the member of the family.”
After hearing that story and knowing the rich history that the SouthCoast has with the whaling industry, he knew the whale would be a wonderful addition to the Plymouth landscape alongside the head-scratching monkey and the saluting penguin.
The Completed Result
After completion, about 7 miles of rebar was used. It stands 12 feet tall and weighs 4,500 pounds.
While the town turned him down to place his statues on town property, he decided to display each one on his own property, in front of his company, Coll, Sacchetti &Associates Inc. on North Park Avenue.
“I got permission from the historical society, and they were very supportive of my idea,” said Coll. “I wanted to give it to the town of Plymouth as my legacy of being here since 1972. I had a beautiful life in this country.”
The whale, penguin and monkey will now live by the water on North Park Avenue thanks to Coll. With the help of the Wampanoag, he hopes to share the stories of each sculpture, and add to the display, whether it’s a waterfall feature or another animal to join the pack.