RIVERARTES II, The Art of Placemaking, sponsored by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, is the second biennial exhibition of outdoor sculpture produced by the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, designed to acquire a collection of public art for Owensboro.
The proposals for monumental works of art showcased in the exhibition are by artists from 20 states. The sculpture, offered for lease for two-year periods, includes a wide selection of subjects, media, and styles. Featured are realistic life-size bronzes and stone carvings, whimsical and entertaining representations of animals and mammoth abstract constructions in steel, glass, and mixed media.
Criteria for selection for entries for the exhibition included quality of craftsmanship; maintainability; structural and surface soundness; attention to historical, geographic and cultural content and appropriateness for public placement.
Each artist whose work is selected by local sponsors for installation receives a stipend of $2,500 per year for the two-year lease and must be responsible for transport and installation to and from the site. Sites are selected by the City which provides sculpture pads, lighting, and insurance of the art during the lease period. The sculpture may be placed in the downtown and riverfront areas or in other public places.
Opportunities for selections by local sponsors will continue through the exhibition’s ending date of October 23. Installation of the works selected may begin at any time after contracts are signed and sites prepared. Potential sponsors may view the exhibition of proposals during regular museum hours or after hours by appointment.
RIVERARTES II complements the expanding collection of public art at sites throughout the community, including recent installations at Owensboro Convention Center, RiverPark Center, Mitch McConnell Plaza, Riverfront Crossing, Ryan Park, and the Daviess County Courthouse.
The nine sculptures that have been leased or purchased by these sponsors for the collections of the City of Owensboro, the Daviess County Fiscal Court and the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art include:
Two stone carvings, “Escape,” by Meg White, installed in Riverfront Crossing, and “Oberon,” by Don Lawler, installed in Mitch McConnell Plaza, were purchased for the City by the William and Marilyn Field Young Charitable Foundation. Both artists are Kentuckians who operate the Lawler-White Studio and Sculpture Garden in Stephensport.
“Vertigo,” an abstract stainless steel construction by Florida artist Mark Chew, was purchased by Big River Rubber and Gasket Co. and placed for the City near the east entrance of the Convention Center.
Daviess County Fiscal Court has received several contributions toward the purchase of “Hometown,” two bronze figures seated on a park bench, by George Lundeen, Loveland, Colo. The sculpture is displayed on the 2nd Street side of the Courthouse lawn.
A second sculpture by Lundeen, “Harvest Dreams,” a bronze depicting a farm family, installed in Riverfront Crossing, and “Strength of the Maker,” a bronze depicting a Native American hunter, by Denny Haskew, Loveland, Colo., installed in the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art’s Ryan Park, are also scheduled to be purchased for the City and the museum, respectively.
The remaining three works of public art, “Transformation,” leased by Tim Ebelhar and installed in front of the Convention Center; “Celebration,” leased by Dr. and Mrs. William Jansing and Dr. and Mrs. R. Wathen Medley, a bronze dancer at the RiverPark Center entrance; and “Charms,” in McConnell Plaza, will be replaced by new leased sculpture from RiverArtes II.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at the corner of 9th and Frederica streets in Owensboro, Kentucky and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.; and weekends, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free but donations are encouraged. For more information, visit the museum’s website, omfa.us or phone 270-685-3181.