ROCKLAND, Maine — Joe Auciello was sanding the top of his latest work Thursday, a 6-foot tall granite book in front of the Rockland Public Library.
The granite sculpture has been about two years in the making. Auciello, a stone carver from Rockland, said he has been negotiating with the Friends of the Rockland Public Library for two years on the work.
Auciello is being paid $9,500 for the commissioned piece of art.
The original proposal was for a sculpture depicting an open book, but that carried a $35,000 price tag. In the end, the closed book was decided on.
The sculpture was carved from a 5,800-pound slab of Jonesboro red granite, Auciello said. This matches the granite that was used to construct the original portion of the library in 1903-04.
He has worked on the sculpture for the past two-and-half months on the grounds of the Sail Power & Steam Museum in Rockland, where he has working space.
Several local businesses have donated goods and services to make the project possible. Among them are George C. Hall & Sons, E.L. Spear, Rockland Marine, Rockport Steel and Ferraiolo Construction.
The city also assisted in the placement of the sculpture. A dedication ceremony will be held, although a date has not been set.
Auciello also has one of his stone sculptures on display at Ferry Terminal Park in Rockland.