Public art displays in Europe and major cities are well-known, but did you know small towns offer incredible opportunities to engage in art too? The Clayton Sculpture Trail, in North Carolina offers just that! The Downtown Clayton Sculpture Trail, now in its second season, reinforces the town's commitment to visual arts. The Clayton Public Advisory Board and town leaders recently finished overseeing the installation of eight unique pieces that will grace its tree-lined streets into 2015.
The sculpture installation, which was approved by the town council earlier this spring, can be found at Horne Square on Main Street, in the Town Square (where the summer concert series is held), at the Clayton Library, at the Clayton Center and in the circle at East Front Street. Each sculpture includes a plaque identifying the artist that also includes a scannable cell phone code (QRL codes) to learn more about the piece.
Each artist featured received a $1,000 honorarium for lending their art to the Town of Clayton. The eight pieces include:
- "He Stopped and Turned to See and Listen," by Charlie Brouwer of Willis, VA looks inward at our busy-ness. The piece is made from locust wood and stands about 10 feet high. It weighs more than 250 lbs. Brouwer says he imagined the figure in this piece going about his life when something caught his attention, making him stop in his tracks to turn and listen. He hopes it inspires people to slow down a bit and allow themselves to be distracted.
- "Life Cycle," by Hanna Jubran is third piece he has lent to the Town of Clayton. This piece expresses the life cycle through shape, form, space and color. It is made of stainless steel, weighs 600 pounds and stands at 6 feet tall. The artist hopes viewers will see the four elements (earth, water, fire and wind) through the shapes and colors depicted as they occur in nature.
- "Lovearch," by Andrew Denton, is considered both sculpture and love poem. The two figures, forming an arch 8 feet tall and weighing 500 pounds, balance against one another, as lovers do in real life. The artist hopes that people will understand that without each others' support, we are less strong.
- "Quetzalcoatl's Declination," by Robert Coon, a North Carolina native who now resides in Vero Beach, Florida, depicts Quetzalcoatl's battle with the sun. Quetzalcoatl wins the battle and returns as the sun, which is what inspired the piece.
- "Semi-Circle Balance Study #14," by Matt Amante of Winterville, North Carolina, is a deliberate study of contrasts. The materials in the piece are complete opposites, natural river rock and man-made stainless steel. The dynamic of balance and the contrast of materials should lead viewers to contemplate similar elements of balance in the world.
- "Silent Sounds of Service," by Gary Gresko of Oriental, North Carolina, is his second contribution to the Downtown Sculpture Trail. The aluminum sculpture stands 10 feet tall and weighs 80 pounds. It is constructed from recycled military artifacts, and the color red is used to symbolize the passion and dedication of military personnel.
- "Vortex," by artist Nelson Smith of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, is his second submission to the Clayton Sculpture Trail. Smith's work as a professional welder prepared him for a career in sculptural art. He uses scrap metal to create pieces that show blow, beauty and movement.
- "Windchimes," by Adam Walls of Hope Mills, NC, is the only sculpture that includes an element of sound. The sculpture weighs in at 800 pounds and is meant to be both aesthetically and acoustically pleasing. The piece is placed at the Town Square, where the free summer concert series is held.