Scheduled at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art for Aug. 23 to Oct. 26, the exhibition of proposals for public art is a project designed to celebrate the vitality of Owensboro, showcase its creative placemaking initiatives and enhance its reputation as a cultural tourism destination. The exhibition is sponsored at the museum by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
The project follows the national model for leased monumental outdoor sculpture installation in cities across the country. These projects of rotating sculpture are traditionally supported by a wide variety of sponsors, including granting agencies, foundations and the public, private and corporate sectors.
Approximately 100 proposals will be selected for an exhibition at the museum, where artists will have their works showcased by scale models, photographs or other illustrations, and reviewed by potential sponsors. A highlight of the selection process will be the “Community Award” chosen by the general public which will be invited to vote for its favorite sculpture to be considered for installation.
The artists will be responsible for transport to and from the installation site and for oversight of the installation process. Sponsors will provide sites and insure the works for the duration of the two-year lease. All sculpture will be offered for sale and may be purchased at the end of the two-year lease period.
Artists may enter the competition by visiting the museum’s website at www.omfa.us or phoning the museum at (270) 685-3181.
The selection criteria for installations will include quality of craftsmanship; attention to architectural, historical, geographic and cultural context; maintainability; structural and surface soundness and appropriateness for placement in a public setting.
RiverArtes furthers a community initiative begun in 2005 by the Owensboro Public Art Commission through a project that acquired five works of monumental public art. These installations, supported by private sponsors, feature artists of national and international reputation, including Isaac Witken (1936-2006), Ernest Trova (1927-2009), Peter Reginato, David Hayes (1931-2013), Housi Knecht and Denny Haskew.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art enhanced this community effort with the addition of two heroic-sized bronze buffalo installed in Ryan Park, sculpted by the internationally known animalier, T. D. Kelsey. The installations celebrate the origins of Owensboro, when a buffalo trace (now present-day Frederica Street) was created by thousands of years of thundering buffalo traveling to the Ohio River for water after visiting ancient salt licks in southern Daviess County. It was through this trace that the first settlers formed early camps in present-day Smothers Park.
Since the dawn of civilization, public art has profoundly impacted our consciousness by turning undefined spaces into desirable places. From the Egyptian pyramids to the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore and the St. Louis Arch, public art has documented our past and defined our present.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at the corner of 9th and Frederica streets in Owensboro, Kentucky and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 to 4 p.m. weekends. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.For more information, visit the museum’s website, www.omfa.us or phone (270) 685-3181.
Information provided by Mary Hood
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