The Columbus Area Arts Council has selected eight large-scale outdoor sculptures for inclusion in the 2014 Columbus Indiana Sculpture Biennial. The works will be installed in June at various locations throughout the Columbus Arts District, creating a dynamic physical experience with public art.
The temporary works will be rotated out in May 2016, making room for another collection of sculpture. This rotation will help to encourage repeated visits by tourists and help to engage local residents in conversations on public art. “Having sculptures temporarily dot the Columbus landscape will expand the collective conversation regarding the arts and will supplement the city’s permanent public art collection in ever changing ways,” said Karen Shrode, executive director of the Columbus Area Arts Council.
A call for artists was released in November 2013. When the call closed on January 24, 2014, 86 artists working in diverse media from around the globe had submitted just over 200 pieces of sculpture for consideration. Each artist selected will be awarded a $3,000 stipend when their piece is installed.
David Kadlec, owner of Jacksson Contemporary Art in Columbus, was selected as curator for the Biennial. “There were so many great works that the injustice of exclusion was a painful necessity of selecting only eight,” noted Kadlec on the challenging task of making the final selections. In his role as curator, Kadlec will help manage the Biennial, working with Arts Council staff to draft and execute contracts, to identify and secure installation sites, and to work with artists during the installation and de-installation process.
Artists whose work has been selected for inclusion in the Biennial are Ruth Aizuss Migdal (Chicago), Dale Enochs (Bloomington, IN), Albert Paley (Rochester, NY), Richard Herzog (Sarasota, FL), Nicole Beck (Chicago), Anthony Heinz May (Brooklyn, NY), Eric W. Stephenson (Chicago), and Matthew Davey (Indianapolis). “I look forward to seeing their pieces grace our city for the next two years and hope that we find a way to place some of these into Columbus’ permanent collection,” said Kadlec. Three alternate pieces by Ted Sitting Crow Garner (Chicago), Dylan Mortimer (Westwood, KS), and Sam Spiczka (Sauk Rapids, MN) were also selected should one of the eight winning artists not be able to fulfill the terms of their contract.
Albert Paley, whose painted steel sculpture Jester was chosen for inclusion, is the first and only metalsmith to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects (1995), the AIA’s highest award to a non-architect. A retrospective of Paley’s 50 year career, American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley, is on display through September 28 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.
Nicole Beck’s piece, Oscill8, plays with rhythmic and poetic systems found in nature and the sciences. “I will enjoy being around this marvelous critter, and seeing kids’ eyes light up when they look at it. This work has a lovable and unexpected presence,” said Kadlec.
Anthony Heinz May will create a site-specific piece made from a locally-sourced tree, either uprooted by a storm or removed intentionally. May creates three-dimensional reconstructions of nature by deconstructing and reassembling dead, recycled, and natural tree waste. This piece will be unique to Columbus and integrate into its surroundings.
The Columbus Indiana Sculpture Biennial will be an inaugural project of the newly created Columbus Arts District and hopefully serve as a launching point for the facilitation of a public art master plan for the city. This will include temporary works and an increase in the inventory of permanent works through purchase prizes. The sculptures will be sited in high-traffic areas and along the recently enhanced Columbus People Trail system. “There is a dynamic synergy here that draws on our internationally recognized reputation for art and architecture,” said Bryan Brunner, president of Columbus Area Arts Council board of directors. “This will help to elevate the conversation of the arts not only in Columbus, but throughout the Midwest,” added Brunner.
The 2014 Columbus Indiana Sculpture Biennial is funded through private donations as well as a $25,000 Efroymson Award for Excellence in Cultural Tourism Development, presented to the Arts Council at the 2013 Midwest Cultural Tourism Conference.
The Efroymson Award for Excellence in Cultural Tourism Development is awarded to a nonprofit organization for a creative, emerging cultural tourism initiative. The award is intended to recognize midwestern nonprofit institutions with annual budgets less than $1 million that have or will have demonstrated innovative ideas that attract new residents and visitors and promote the Midwest as a tourism destination. The grant criteria states the initiative should create substantial local economic impact and generate statewide or national attention as a cultural destination.
The Columbus Area Arts Council is a public, not-for-profit corporation supported by private donations, the City of Columbus, the State of Indiana through the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.