published Sunday, September 18th, 2011

The third temporary exhibit of outdoor sculpture has been installed on East and West Main streets

In 2007, Public Art Chattanooga began a series of temporary rotating exhibitions of outdoor sculpture. During the first two exhibits, the artworks were located on Main Street between Market and Baldwin streets.

The third exhibition, which was installed two weeks ago, is composed of 13 new pieces. These sculptures join three existing sculptures, which were purchased from the two prior Art on Main exhibits.

"What makes the new show different is that we doubled the size of the exhibit and have placed sculpture on West Main Street too," said Peggy Townsend, director of Public Art Chattanooga. "We also made it a regional competition and received more than 120 entries from the Southeast."

A group of people from the community on Main Street and public art committee members made the final selections, which will remain on display through August 2013. Some of the pieces were created specifically for this exhibit. Artists whose works were selected received a $5,000 stipend.

The competition was open to all professional artists and artist teams who were at least 18 years of age and living in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Washington, D.C.

Main Street connects three of the Southside's emerging neighborhoods -- Fort Negley, Jefferson Heights and Cowart. Each has its own distinctive character, and Main Street has become the center of a creative community of writers, painters, sculptors, chefs, photographers and other related businesses.

"Three years ago, Main Street was a very different place," said Townsend. "One of the reasons for the change is Art on Main because it humanizes the space and draws people's attention."

In addition, Main Street has attracted new businesses of many kinds, local entrepreneurs and residents.

Funded by Lyndhurst Foundation, Art on Main helps to animate Main Street, and Lyndhurst will continue to purchase a sculpture or sculptures from each temporary exhibit to remain in the city of Chattanooga's permanent art collection.

"When we make a purchase, we pay attention to the comments of people in the Main Street area," said Townsend. "People have their favorites and would be very disappointed to see certain pieces leave."

All of the new sculptures are for sale and range from $5,000 to $60,000. Most are priced around $15,000.

Sculptors represented in the new exhibit are Luke Achterberg, Paris Alexander, Noah Brock, Charlie Brouwer, Rondell Crier, Hanna Jubran, Mark Krucke, Alan LeQuire, Cecilia Lueza, Marc Moulton, Michael Russell, Jon Shearin and the team of R.L. Hughey and Deborah McNeil.

For information, call 643-6096 or 756-6146.

Email Ann Nichols at annsnichols@aol.com.

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