Kickstarter campaign for sculpture show begins Friday

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 05:02 PM

Liberty Arts, a non-profit metal arts organization, will begin a Kickstarter campaign Friday to raise money online to help fund the Bull City Sculpture Show, which would bring several large-scale sculptures to Durham next year. Liberty Arts hopes to raise $25,000 through the campaign by Oct. 21.

The organization needs $45,000, which will go to defray the costs of moving the art work to Durham, pay the artists, an opening event and a bronze pour. Liberty Arts already has raised $20,000 toward the show, and has received a donation of lodging for the artists. All told, the show will require about $64,000, said Jackie MacLeod, president of the Liberty Arts Board of Directors, and an artist with the organization.

The $25,000 sought through the Kickstarter would enable Liberty Arts to make the official call for sculptures in November, MacLeod said. “If we have 75 percent of the money by the time we call for the artists, we’re in pretty good position,” she said.

Liberty Arts will seek to raise another $20,000 by May 2014, she said.

Kickstarter allows nonprofit groups, businesses and individuals to seek funds for creative projects. No money changes hands unless the project receives the requested amount by the posted deadline. Other local organizations that have successfully used Kickstarter include The Pinhook, The Carrack Modern Art Gallery and the Art of Cool Festival.

Liberty Arts first announced the Bull City Sculpture show in June. An independent juror will choose as many as 12 sculptures from applicants across the United States. (Liberty Arts members will administer the show, but are not eligible to create a sculpture and are not being paid.) All sculptures will be within walking distance of Durham Central Park. Some of the Bull City Sculpture Show pieces will be on view at sites already designated for sculptures in CCB Plaza and at Five Points, MacLeod said.

The sculptures will be on view for six months beginning in May. One sculpture will be purchased for Durham and become permanent. A people’s choice sculpture will remain on view for a year. The idea is to repeat the show annually, and purchase one sculpture each year for permanent placement in Durham.

Members of Liberty Arts will be out and about handing out information about the Kickstarter during CenterFest this weekend, and at the Liberty Arts Studio, 923 Franklin St. in Durham, today during Third Friday events, MacLeod said.

Liberty Arts wants the Bull City Sculpture Show to make Durham a center for sculpture. MacLeod cited Baltimore as an example of a city that makes good use of public sculptures. “It’s a reflection on the city…. We’re just ready,” she said of Durham. 

Liberty Arts offers classes in metal sculpture, metal casting, glass work and other three-dimensional arts. The organization is located in the Cordoba Center for the Arts. It still pours sculptures at the George Watts Hill Pavilion casting facility in Durham Central Park. Among other sculptures, Liberty Arts created “Major” the bull, in CCB Plaza downtown.

Another separate public art project, a mural depicting Durham’s contributions to civil rights history, has been postponed until next year to allow organizers to find another site (the originally designated site was sold this year). Money from the city’s Cultural Master Plan is funding the pilot public art project. 


For more on this campaign, visit and search under Bull City Sculpture Show.