Sculptures return to downtown Lenoir

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 06:59 AM

Lenoir is regaining some public art, as new sculptures have appeared in the planters lining the streets of downtown, replacing ones that were removed in May.

Six planters were fitted with sculptures by sculptor Ray Giddens of Simpsonville, S.C., on July 12, just in time for the Blackberry Festival. And the Caldwell Arts Council is working to get more new works on display at Tucker’s Gallery, the name for the public sculpture gallery downtown.

“We are super excited,” said Cathy McCoy, an administrative assistant with Caldwell Arts Council, adding that the council has positive heard  feedback since the sculptures were installed.

Tucker's Gallery -- named for Tucker’s Barn, the gathering place that eventually grew to become Lenoir -- features 12 planters equipped with base fittings for sculptures. Local sculptors Keith Willis and Suzette Bradshaw organized the original installments with a state grant awarded to the arts council but recently moved on to other opportunities.

The arts council originally posted a deadline of mid-July to fill the gallery but now hopes to fill the remaining six spots in time for the Sculpture Celebration on Sept. 7. A call for artists has been released, and more than 300 artists in the council’s database have been notified.

Sculptures on display are fitted with a sign showing the name of the sculpture and artist, contact information and the price.

The Caldwell Arts Council will pay a stipend to sculptors chosen to display their work at the gallery, selecting pieces from regional artists. Pieces will be on display for a year or until they are sold.

Caldwell County boasts and extensive collection of sculpture. The arts council's collection features 80 works on display around the county.