2007-08 Sculpture Competition

Dome of the Square

Dome of the Square

Artist: Carl Billingsley, Ayden, NC
Media: Cast Iron and Steel 4' x 4' x 6'
Location: State Street, Tennessee side, in front of old Antiques Unlimited building.

"Dome of the Square" is one of a series of sculptures which I have done to explore the relationship between minimal geometric shapes as compositional elements in large-scale publicly sited sculptures. I am interested in the contrast between the cast dome shape with its complex but low-relief surface articulation and the simplicity and directness of the welded steel cube. I use a vocabulary of straightforward forms and work as directly with the materials and processes as possible. I am hopeful that people will see the relationships both in terms of the materials and in the composition and its orientation to the site. These are quiet sculptures for public spaces.

Visit billingsleyatelier.com to learn more about Carl Billingsley.

Evolution in Gray

Evolution in Gray

Artist: Samuel Burns, Southport, NC
Media: Steel Painted 7' x 4' x 3.5'
Location: State Street, Tennessee side between 6th and 7th Streets.

I was originally trained in photography but over the years, sculpture has become a big influence in my artwork ? exposing a distorted reality originating from contemporary myth and deep-rooted traditional legend, exploring the varying scales of abstraction. The ability of the mind and eye to bend reality and the potential of such altered perception to affect society as well as the individual, are explored through varying degrees of abstract expression. Working in both medias is similar with the way light and shadow play an important part in the appearance and feel. The process of cutting and welding abstract shapes into three-dimensional forms is very personal and gratifying.

Curved Form with Portholes

Curved Form with Portholes

Artist: Jacob DeCola, Greensboro, NC
Media: Oxidized and Oiled Steel 6' x 3' x 2'
Location: Bristol, Virginia Courthouse ? at the corner of Lee and Cumberland.

My work has a nautical reference, both in shape and concept. Growing up on the coast of Massachusetts, I could not help but be influenced by the movement, gestures, and timeless forms of the ocean and the manmade objects surrounding it.

My sculptures speak of this influence. They are precise forms that appear to have survived the battle with time and the elements, much like the abandoned buoys and other forgotten vessels scattered along the shore. Creating a sense of life in my work is important, and I am glad when the art looks as if it could just blend in with these shore-bound objects and appear perfectly in place.

This sculpture is from a series of forms that uses the porthole as a departure point. The porthole invites the viewer to see inside the form and, most importantly, to see through the form. This interaction between person and object is an important motivation behind these porthole sculptures.

Catapillar

Catapillar

Artist: Brian Glaze, Hendersonville, NC
Media: Steel 5' x 15' x 4'
Location: Bristol Public Library (upper entrance on King Street).

Growing up in northeastern Ohio, I have been surrounded by the steel industry all my life. With my family ties dating back five generations, I feel a strong connection to these materials. My work covers not only traditional steel sculpture, but includes mixed medium, video, and collaborative multimedia performance. I am continually tracing my family's history back to England. Creating work from this process has been translated into forms of welded and cast metals, to video representations of my past family members and their lives.

With my surroundings (The Rust Belt), scrap steel and bygone manufactured objects have always been in abundance. Catapillar deals with found materials, industrial overtones, and human interaction. The work also pokes fun at itself by trying to emulate the title's subject matter and by using the official color of Caterpillar forklifts. The title is intentionally misspelled, commenting on childhood memories and tendencies towards phonetic spelling. The work invites interaction of all ages, especially for children to climb on.

Visit briannglaze.com to learn more about Brian Glaze.

Deflowered Cannon

Deflowered Cannon

Artist: William Harrington, Holliston, MA
Media: Steel 7' x 10'
Location: The Downtown Center/Farmer's Market.

As Leonardo Da Vinci wrote (left handed and backwards) in his Codex Leicester Notebooks, 'Everything that can be taken by the eyes need not be masticated by the mouth.' The visual craftsman's vocabulary is sight, the literary craftsman's vocabulary is letters: Look, see and focus on each, or do I have to draw you a picture?

Coke is Fun II

Coke is Fun II

Artist: Marvin Tadlock, Bristol, VA
Media: Cast Stainless Steel & Stainless Steel
Location: In front of Theatre Bristol in the Tennessee side of State Street near 5th.

Being a sculptor is not unlike being a shaman ? there is magic involved! Through the processes of lost wax casting, plasma arc cutting and a myriad of welding techniques, I am able to freeze a moment of action or time in space ? or at least make it appear that way. I enjoy depicting objects in the very process of falling, or being shattered, and freezing them precariously in space. While changing a static composition into an active one, the piece becomes exciting from all views rather than from a frontal view only. Indicating a passage of time can further heighten the illusion of action within a piece. In 'Coke is Fun II,' for example, the three Coke bottles are in the process of falling or being hit by the ball. The puddle-shaped base directly below the empty, bottom bottle enforces this feeling and ? at the same time ? ties the bottom and top of the sculpture together both visually and contextually.

Visit marvintadlock.com to learn more about Marvin Tadlock.

From the Belly of the Beast

From the Belly of the Beast

Artist: Benjamin Jones, Richmond, VA
Media: Steel and Epoxy Resin/Fiberglass 10' x 7' x 7'
Location: Bristol Public Library (lower entrance on Piedmont).

My work communicates across social boundaries such as culture, age, and education because it speaks of universally applicable concerns. At the center of my conceptual investigations is an interest in the development of the mind and the expansion of the self. I use my self and my direct surroundings as my model of observation.

From the Belly of the Beast works as a metaphor of my own personal boundaries that I have transcended through my efforts, the results, and the components of process. It is about exceeding boundaries. It is a sculpture that from conception to execution embraced the idea of development. New materials such as epoxy resin and fiberglass in combination with dramatic shift in scale have provided new grounds for exploration and opportunities for growth.

Visit benjaminsjones.com to learn more about Benjamin Jones.

Watershed

Watershed

Artist: Martin Webster, Burnsville, NC
Media: Ferrocement 6' x 3.5' x 2'
Location: On the Virginia side of State Street in front of Blakely Mitchell.

My work is inspired by the natural rhythms of geological and biological forms, filtered through an appreciation of the materials and design sensibilities of architectural and industrial design. I explore issues of the individual's relationship to the human community and the natural world.

Beginning at some moment during 2006 or 2007, for the first time ever, more than half of humanity will live in cities, without direct knowledge of where their food and water come from. This is the kind of occasion that we call a watershed event, when we move from one era into the next, where all the rules are different.

My sculpture didn't start out being about this. Outdoor sculptures need to shed water. But as is so often the case, art and life became interwoven, as associations continued to present themselves. At the time I was creating this sculpture, I had been involved for two years in the Bald Creek Local Watershed Plan, a community effort to preserve and improve water quality in the area drained by Bald Creek, including the creek that my wife and I live beside. As I worked with the abstract forms that I would enjoy seeing rain splash over, they inevitably came to incorporate those experiences and my response to them. Since this was also the largest single form I had created to date in ferrocement, it became a personal watershed event in another sense.

Visit martinwebster.com to learn more about Martin Webster.