ART BEAT: Suwanee's 2013-2015 SculpTour is a walkable art encounter


Photo: Bill Mahan Suwanee's SculpTour for 2013-2015 includes "Crescendo" by artist Gregory Johnson, which is displayed in front of Suwanee's City Hall.

Approximately 7,000 pounds of public art are on view around and about the city of Suwanee. The 2013-15 SculpTour is installed and presenting workers, walkers and other visitors with encounters with all types of three-dimensional images. With the summer weather and events in Suwanee's Town Center, now is the time for viewers to stroll and browse these works of art.

Officially opened on May 18, the exhibition was organized by the Suwanee Public Arts Commission and funded through corporate and private donations.

There are 14 sculptures of varying sizes and visual impact. Sixty submissions were culled down to this group on display. Artists participating came from seven states: Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Tennessee.

"Whether people see one or two pieces at a time as they visit Town Center or see all of them at once as they take the approximately one-mile walking tour, we hope that the accessibility of public art in Suwanee will make folks pause, reflect, connect and maybe smile," Economic and Community Director Denise Brinson said.

New York City artist Jack Howard-Potter's piece "Dancer 10" was selected as a part of the exhibition. Howard-Potter has had a work selected by the previous SculpTour show. He appreciates that public art like SculpTour makes art accessible for everyone.

"A whole different set of people see art when it's at Town Center rather than being tucked away in some gallery somewhere," he said. "Public art, like that at Town Center, gives people an opportunity to have a different viewpoint as they drive down the road or walk around. When someone sees my statue, even if it's just for a split second, and they change their routine or I've introduced something new to them, I've been successful."

Andrew Crawford of Atlanta is another second-time sculptor.

"Exhibits like SculpTour offer artists exposure, engage residents and open up dialogue about art," Crawford said.

The pieces include "Aplomb" by Luke Achterberg of Lexington, Ky., "Blue Trees and Sky" by Cathrin Hoskinson of Brooklyn, N.Y., "Crescendo" by Gregory Johnson of Cumming, "Crossing V" by Christopher Newman of Chicago, "Fay" by Cecilia Lueza of St. Petersburg, Fla, "Giraffe" by Jonathan Bowling of Greenville, N.C., "Iron Canopy" by Phil Proctor of Atlanta, "Music from My Father" by Fred Ajanogha of College Park, "Pick" by Crawford of Atlanta, "Reflection" by Michael Russell of Athens, Tenn., "Ring Bound" by Davis A. Whitfield, IV of Mountain City, Tenn., "Vertigo" by Robert Cordisco of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Jim Collins of Signal Mountain, Tenn.

Viewers and visitors can vote for their favorites online. At the end of each exhibition, funding allowing, the Public Arts Commission will purchase at least one sculpture to be added to the permanent collection in Suwanee. To vote, visit www.suwanee.com/whatsnew.sculptour.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.