The New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project is bringing the rich history of New Albany to the community with various sculptures displayed publicly downtown. Each participating local or regional artist exhibits a different aspect of the city’s history through contemporary art.
This year, five sculptures will be installed in highly visible outdoor areas downtown. Each year until New Albany’s bicentennial celebration, five new sculptures will be constructed and unveiled. By 2013, 20 sculptures will have been installed and the public can take guided walking tours to learn more about the history that inspired the artwork. The project is directed by Julie Schweitzer Studios, Inc. and implemented through a partnership between the Carnegie Center for Art and History and the New Albany Urban Enterprise Association. The sculptures are sponsored by various members and businesses in the community.
“We really want to build excitement about our bicentennial,” said Karen Gillenwater, Carnegie Center for Art and History Curator. “We each have our very own distinct connection to our history.”
The first five sculptures will be displayed at five different sites. St. Marks Church Garden has been selected to represent the history of early settlement. Artist J. Daniel Graham will create a series of steel sculptures with historical images imprinted on the steel.
Graham said he enjoys being involved in the community of artists and seeing the variety of art forms.
“Seeing that come together for history is really kind of beautiful,” said Graham, who is also a professor of fine arts at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.
Valerie Sullivan Fuchs, an artist who works with video and sculpture will design a large scale video projection to be displayed against the side of the YMCA building. The work is inspired by the 1937 flood.
River City Winery has been selected as a site to represent the glass industry. The Heib Building, across the street from the winery, is the site of the first plate glass installation. Large panels will adorn the side of the building, created by glass artist John King. The glass was donated by Kenny’s Auto Parts.
To represent the city’s history of breweries and taverns, Leticia Bajuyo will create an interactive sculpture at the New Albanian brew house. The sculpture is influenced by the Lite-Brite toy, with donated beer bottles being substituted for pegs.
“I like to use materials that have a history,” said Bajuyo, who is a professor of fine arts at Hanover College. “People can get into the piece. I think that working on outdoor projects, I get to access a wider audience.”
Inspired by the Underground Railroad, artist Brad White will construct a steel sculpture to be displayed across the street from the former Israel Boarding House and near Second Baptist Church in a vacant lot.
Each history is connected to this year’s central theme of the Ohio River. Next year’s phase of the project will feature different aspects of industry.
SO YOU KNOW
Five sculptures will be created this year in New Albany to display the city’s history. Here are the locations that they will appear and what each piece will contain.
• St. Marks Church Garden will represent the history of the early settlement in New Albany. The piece will be a series of steel sculptures with historical images imprinted on them.
• The YMCA will have a large-scale video projection on the side of it.
• River City Winery will represent the glass industry as it will have panels on the side of the building.
• The New Albanian brew house will be home an interactive sculpture that represents the history or bars and taverns in New Albany.
• A piece representing the Underground Railroad will occupy the space across from the former Israel Boarding House and near the Second Baptist Church.
20 sculptures to be completed by 2013
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