Internationally renowned artist Ilan Averbuch was commissioned by APPI specifically for this location because of his intimate knowledge of the Gezer Region informed by his Israeli heritage and experience. “Avanim Vetseiadim” is the focal point of Gezer Park, which was developed to honor Leawood’s Sister City relationship with the Gezer Region of Israel.Ilan Averbuch was born in Tel Aviv and attended art school at the Wimbledon School of Art in London and School of Visual Arts at Hunter College in New York City. Averbuch lives and works in New York where he also teaches and lectures. His greatly sought after award winning work can be seen throughout the world.

Averbuch creates sculptures using different combinations of common building materials. Many components are recycled; their former uses revealed through the remnants of surface details. His sculptures are a balance of whimsical forms and serious themes with heavy, chunky carved elements creating elegant results. His subjects are architectural, archaeological and archetypical.

This 22’ high ladder of steel and recycled granite rises from a small reflecting lake. Averbuch’s vision of this work is that “A ladder is a tool, a human creation, mimicking things we see in nature. It is steps into territories beyond our natural reach. A ladder has a physical dimension, but from very early on it has occupied the human mind as a dream and metaphor. As such, it has no limits, no scale and no physical explanation. In daily reality, we think of it as something that starts on solid ground, and we associate it with climbing up or down. However, through our poetic license it has also become an archetype, which despite accepting the facts of gravity, reaches out to the beyond.”

“Water” is seen as the beginning of life. We also see it as an element of cleansing. It reflects the circularity of life, but as in life and literature, it represents the unconscious – the sea of the unknown. In this work I wanted to connect that ‘sea of the unknown,’ which we search to understand, with our desires to reach out for more than what we have. This combination reflects the human condition, and in this work literally is a reflection of one element in the other – the ladder grows out of its reflection created in the water. Stone and water are opposites and are the materials from which I carved this image. They form a dialog with surprises and questions. Each viewer can find his own range of answers to the questions posed here between the physical and the metaphysical.”