For 25th anniversary, downtown sculpture exhibit will be local artists only

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Mike Yoder/Journal-World Photos

From left, Brea Smith, Kim David and Rick Mitchell survey the marble sculpture "Pneuma" by James Berg, Hot Springs, Ark., during an informal tour of the 14th Annual Downtown Lawrence Sculpture Exhibition. The trio critiqued the sculptures during their walk.

Pieces of sculpture have been creating conversations, smiles and sometimes head-scratching in downtown Lawrence for almost a quarter-century.

The Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission is now accepting entries for its 25th Annual Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition, and a couple of changes are in store for the milestone year of the event.

For the first time in perhaps ever, the show will be limited to artists who have a local connection. Only artists that live within a 15-mile radius of Lawrence will be allowed to submit entries. In the past, the event has attracted artists from across the country.

“This year, the committee wanted to do something special by showcasing the talents of local artists,” says Diane Stoddard, an assistant city manager who serves as the staff liaison for the Arts Commission.

Also, the city will provide an extra $5,000, enabling the exhibition to increase the honorarium paid to artists from $750 to $1,200.

Porter Arneill, public art administrator for Kansas City, Mo., will serve as the juror of the show, and is expected to select eight pieces for display.

All work must be free-standing, of sound design and suitable for long-term outdoor public display without external support. The show will open June 15 and run through April 2014.

Artists can find entry information on the city’s website, The deadline is 4 p.m. Feb. 22.

The city provides funding for the show with money from its Special Recreation Fund. The Special Recreation Fund receives its funding from a portion of the state taxes collected on liquor sales made in Lawrence bars and restaurants.