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Kingsport sculpture walk offers art on a GRAND scale

Staff Report • May 12, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Kingsport’s Sculpture Walk is back for its seventh year, with 10 new pieces on display along Broad and Main streets downtown through March 2014.

The Sculpture Walk is a curated exhibit of contemporary public art on exhibit 11 months of the year, then changed for a new exhibit each May. Over the last six years, through individual gifts and endowments, the city has been able to acquire eight sculptures from this temporary exhibition to be part of its growing permanent public art collection.

Curator Peggy Townsend, Chattanooga’s public art director, once again chose this year’s pieces.

“In choosing works for this year’s exhibit, I looked for artistic excellence, a variety of form and scale, diverse materials, and a balance of representational and non-representational work,” Townsend wrote in her juror statement. “The City of Kingsport should be congratulated for supporting and growing such an important public art program. Public art plays a vital role in your city. It energizes public space, connects people and place, and transforms where we live, work and play into a more welcoming and vibrant community. The level of interest from artists across the country and the high caliber of their work shows that Kingsport is regarded as a city that values public art and understands the important role that it plays.”

Viewers can access information on each piece through the “Guide By Cell” feature of the walk by calling (423) 200-3205.The sculptures are:

No. 1 — “Saoirse,” by Mark A. Connelley of Brevard, N.C. Connelley works primarily in steel, bronze and natural materials to create large-scale sculpture and engaging environments. “Saoirse” (pronounced SEER-shuh) is a three-sided steel obelisk inspired from megalithic standing stones found throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.

No. 2 — “Moodusa’s Daughter,” by Jim Collins of Signal Mountain, Tenn. Collins is primarily a public art sculptor working in a figurative manner. His sculpture style has been characterized by the use of silhouettes of people and animals constructed of stainless steel, aluminum and other metals.

No. 3 — “Magnolia Bluff,” by Aaron P. Hussey of Baton Rouge, La. It’s Hussey’s relationship with art, architecture and community — shaped growing up in the unique culture of New Orleans — that drives him to create art in the public realm. “Magnolia Bluff” is constructed of stainless steel, Cor-ten steel (also known as weathering steel) and painted steel.

No. 4 — “Fork, Knife and Spoon Sun,” by Andrew Yff of Parkville, Md. One of Yff’s greatest interests in sculpture deals with the ability to render drawings in 3D space. “Fork, Knife and Spoon Sun” is a commentary on climate change and that it will be possible for the sun to eat us, but will do so with proper manners.

No. 5 — “Final Fan-Dango,” by Shawn Morin of Bowling Green, Ohio. Throughout his career, the sculptural works Morin has produced have run the gamut of materials from bronze to marble, granite to iron, and wood to steel, but stone is the material most prevalent through the entirety of his work.

No. 6 — “Double Half in Balance,” by Wayne Trapp of Vilas, N.C. Trapp thinks of his sculptures as being both serious and whimsical at the same time, not to be viewed on a purely cerebral level. The title itself describes Trapp’s intent — having a balance, having tension, and a comfortable composition.

No. 7 — “Sunset,” by Lina & Gus Ocamposilva of Clearwater, Fla. This husband and wife team sees the world in countless colors, diverse and vibrant. “Sunset” shows how important we are, they say, and how everything is going to be re-created again when a day is over and a new one starts. Seeing the sun falling below the horizon makes us discover a whole new world.

No. 8 — “Mixed Emotions,” by Davis Andrew Whitfield IV of Mountain City, Tenn. Whitfield spends his time creating sculpture to express his own voice in the world of art, and nature is a huge source of inspiration in his work. One specific moment in time relates to the sculpture “Mixed Emotions.” Arms crossed yet ready to forgive, the sculpture embraces that moment in the two shapes in the middle, which represent two crossed arms, while the outward reaching appendage suggests an offering of the hand, gesturing forgiveness.

No. 9 — “Got Oil?” by Marvin Tadlock of Bristol, Va. Tadlock is a professor of art at Virginia Intermont College. “Got Oil?” is made of steel and stainless steel, and portrays an offshore oil drilling platform, with crane, large drill and helicopter.

No. 10 — “Spring and Summer,” by Hanna Jubran of Grimesland, N.C. Grimesland’s work addresses the concept of time, movement, balance and space. Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings.

For more information on the Sculpture Walk, call the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts at 392-8414 or visit www.EngageKingsport.com.

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