By Laura Wyeth
The Allied Arts Council kicked off the 2018-19 Sculpture Walk, Friday, June 8th, with a reception at Room 108, 108 Felix St., hosted by owners/art patrons, Pat & Terri Modlin. Mayor Bill McMurray and City Manager Bruce Woody welcomed sculpture sponsors, patrons of the arts, volunteers and several of the sculpture artists. Favorite sculptures had been voted on and the top three artists were recognized.
1st place winner, “Out of Africa”, by Dale Lewis, Minnesota. *Sponsored by Commerce Bank.
b“The Peaceful Ruler” by Jeff Best, Michigan. *Sponsored by City of St. Joseph & Joe Gray.
3rd place winner, “World’s Her Canvas” by Lee Leuning & Sherri Treeby, Sioux Falls, SD. *Sponsored by Jo Anne & Marty Grey.
Following the reception, attendees took the first official sculpture walk of the 2018-19 exhibit.
I visited with Teresa Fankhauser, Executive Director, Allied Arts Council (and w/ whom I have the privilege of serving with on the Visual Arts Committee) about the Sculpture Walk, now in its 5th year.
Fankhauser said she fell in love with the idea of a Sculpture Walk over a decade ago while attending a conference in Sioux Falls, SD. “Their Downtown was filled with unique shops, restaurants, galleries and incredible sculptures.” She felt that the concept would be a great program for St. Joseph. Shortly after, the Allied Arts Council included the creation of public art to its strategic plan. The program was presented to the City Council and they voted to partner w/ the Allied Arts Council.
Regional, national & international sculpture artists are invited to submit work for the one year sculpture exhibition with a call out in the fall of each year. Submissions must be received by early February. The Visual Arts Committee selects the sculptures and then the process of determining where sculptures will be located begins. Each sculpture has a plaque identifying the name of the sculpture, the artist, where they are from and the sponsor. In past years, sculpture artists have come from California to Michigan, Minnesota to Arizona. This year we have artists from New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, Washington D.C. and two from Missouri. The Parks Department installs the sculptures & Brooner Construction & Crane make the bases and help lift and place them.
Sculpture Walk maps are available at many of the downtown businesses, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as four brochure boxes located throughout downtown.
When asked how she thought the Sculpture Walk benefits St. Joseph Teresa said: ”The Sculpture Walk brings people downtown and when touring the sculptures they stop in our shops and restaurants and experience our rich architectural heritage. The arts are an important economic driver in our community and the Sculpture Walk is but one example. We get a lot of requests from downtown businesses to place a sculpture by their business. I wish we had the funds to say yes to every request.”
All involved with this program hope that the number of sculptures will continue to grow & will provide incentive for St. Joseph residents, as well as visitors, to make the trip downtown and walk around to see the sculptures, as well as, see first hand, how downtown has been transformed in the last few years.
This year there are 15 featured sculptures as well as the 8 permanent sculptures that have been purchased. All of the 15 sculptures on display for the 2018-2019 exhibit are available for purchase.
For more information
Contact the Allied Arts Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816/233-0231
Laura Wyeth (816) 387-6899