2007 Winning Sculptures Installed in Downtown Bristol

August 07, 2007

Arts Alliance Mountain Empire has announced the winning sculptures for Art in Public Places 2007. The eight pieces, chosen from 26 entries from six states, have been placed at sites in and around downtown Bristol for a one-year exhibit.

The sculptures chosen for Bristol, VA, are:

? "Curved Form with Portholes" by Jacob DeCola at the Courthouse Plaza on Lee Street,
? "Catapillar" by Brian Glaze at the Bristol Public Library's upper level,
? "Belly of the Beast" by Benjamin Jones at the Bristol Public Library's lower level,
? "Watershed" by Samuel Webster at the crosswalk outside Blakely Mitchell.

Those in Bristol, TN, include:

? "Coke is Fun II" by Marvin Tadlock in front of Theatre Bristol.
? "Evolution in Gray" by Samuel Burns at Ruth King's Antiques,
? "Dome of the Square" by Carl Billingsley at the former Antiques Unlimited, and
? "Deflowered Cannon" by William Harrington at the Downtown Center/Farmers' Market.

This year's juror is Abingdon native Vaughan Whitney Garland, Director of the Arts Library at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

The sculptures will be installed on August 1, and an artist-led Inaugural Sculpture Walk is scheduled for August 2. Self-guided walking tour brochures will be located at many key downtown businesses and public buildings. Artist-led tours for organized groups and school children will be available on request. The "People's Choice" voting will commence with the opening of the exhibit and continue through September. The winner will be announced in the November issue of A! Magazine.

This is the second year of the Art in Public Places project. Six sculptures were mounted in last year's competition and placed at the new library, at the Bristol Tennessee Courthouse, and on both sides of State Street. The original exhibit drew a warm and lively response from a cross-section of citizens, including art students from Vance and St. Anne's Middle Schools, and was termed a groundbreaking success. Organized and implemented by AAME's Art in Public Places Committee with the cooperation of both city governments, the project is funded completely by private donations from area businesses and individuals.

"Numerous studies have shown that public outdoor art not only enhances the viewscape," said Candy Snodgrass, chairperson of AAME's Art in Public Places Committee, "It also attracts new residents and businesses to a city. Companies looking for new locations appreciate a city that values art and cultural expression. Many cities require that a percentage of new construction monies be set aside for outdoor visual art installations"

"Art in Public Places is one of the most exciting and visible projects that we sponsor," said Dee Sproll, President of AAME. "The many individuals and companies who donated to make it happen have made a wonderful investment in the Cities of Bristol."

AAME is a membership organization formed in 2003 to nurture, advocate, and celebrate the arts throughout Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. It receives partial funding from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. It has won several awards for arts leadership, most recently from the Arts Council of Greater Kingsport.
For more information, e-mail publicart@AAME.info