SUMTER, S.C. — After months of construction, the new entrance to Swan Lake Iris Gardens is now open, featuring a sculpture by an award-winning artist.

Grainger McKoy created the piece, known as Seven Swans. The piece began as a small model.

Swan Lake Iris Gardens new entrance
A miniature sculpture was created to model the 24-foot version to center the new entrance at Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter.
City of Sumter

It now sits 26-feet above the ground with the fountain below it, according to city spokesperson Shelley Kile, and has already become an area-attraction since it’s unveiling earlier this month.

“It’s bringing in a lot of visitors from out of town, again, from all over the country we’re getting calls and people want to come in and see it,” Kile said.

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McKoy is a native of Sumter. Kile says his inspiration for the project was biblical.

He created seven swans emerging from water, each representing the days it took God to create the Earth.

“During the opening ceremony, he went into the scripture and what that meant to him and growing up here in Sumter as a boy,” Kile said.

A full-circle moment for the now world-renowned artist and, for locals, a sculpture that’s sure to last for generations to come.