Prelude to sculpture show
As a prelude to next year’s Bull City Sculpture Show, a new, 7-foot, 1,500-pound steel sculpture, titled “Reunion” is now on view in Durham Central Park.
Michael E. Waller, a sculptor with Liberty Arts, the non-profit sculpture studio and foundry, created the sculpture and is allowing the park to use it free of charge.
The placement is a collaboration of Durham Central Park, Durham’s Cultural Advisory Board, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and Liberty Arts. A sculpture platform in Durham’s Five Points was the intended site for the sculpture, but that site already had a holiday ornament, said Ann Alexander, Durham Central Park executive director. Frank Konhaus of the Cultural Advisory Board contacted Alexander and suggested that Durham Central Park would be a perfect temporary home for “Reunion,” according to a Durham Central Park release.
Waller’s sculpture was on view at the N.C. Botanical Garden’s Sculpture in the Garden Show in Chapel Hill. As that show closed, sculptor Wayne Vaughn offered to truck “Reunion” free of charge to Durham Central Park.
The project represents “a lot of people pulling together to have some great art in downtown Durham,” Alexander said.
Parks and Recreation, along with the city departments of planning, engineering, transportation and stormwater management reviewed and approved the placement in less than four days, said Peter Coyle, senior economic development coordinator at Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development.
“Reunion” will be on view until May 1. The display will give viewers a preview of the scale of sculptures that will be within walking distance of Durham Central Park beginning in May during the first Bull City Sculpture Show. A juror will pick 12 large sculptures that will be on view for six months. One will be purchased for the city and remain permanent. A people’s choice sculpture will remain on view for a year.
Liberty Arts is organizing the show. The organization recently completed a Kickstarter fundraiser and has issued a call for sculptures from artists across the country. Artists from Liberty Arts will administer the show, but cannot submit work.
Organizers want to make the show an annual event, purchasing one sculpture each year for Durham.
Waller has been a professional sculptor since 1997 after earning a BFA in sculpture at East Carolina University. His many works include “Major” the bull in CCB Plaza, and the “Historic Parrish Street Marker Series.”