Sculpture displays massive middle finger to town leaders

VT man erects sculpture displaying middle finger to town leaders

WESTFORD, VT (WCAX/CNN) – Everyone sees something slightly different in artwork.

Some residents of a Vermont town said they see a hand giving the finger when they look at a giant sculpture that went up recently.

And the man who put it up said that’s exactly what it is.

Steps from Route 128 in Westford, the towering sculpture stands.

And while everyone recognizes the gesture the sculpture displays, most residents want to know why it was put there.

"You can't believe that somebody went to all that work,” resident Carol Jordan said. “It's very big. Everybody got the message. But a lot of work went into it."

So, why was it built?

"It's intended for the people who run our town, who run the town of Westford," said Ted Pelkey, the owner of the sculpture.

Pelkey said it stems from a long-running dispute with the town over whether he can develop his property.

He’d like to move his truck repair and monofilament recycling business to the property so he can take on more business and not pay rent in nearby Swanton.

But he said the town keeps putting up barriers, and he believes members of the town development review board have a personal grudge against him.

Development review board minutes from last fall show the board was concerned about how the building would be used, among other things.

Pelkey said he feels those are delay tactics – so he spent $4,000 to make a point.

"I'm hoping that we can get it through to the people who live in the town of Westford to have a really long look at the people who are running their town," he said.

Town officials probably don’t like the sculpture, but there’s not much they can do about it, because it’s considered a work of public art.

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