a proposed sculpture tour will be implemented in the spring of 2011 and feature art along a three block stretch of santa fe in downtown salina. (photo by tom dorsey / salina journal) | buy journal photos


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entries sought for outdoor sculpture tour downtown


by gary demuth/salina journal

it started with an idea to add a little pizzazz to downtown salina.

the concept was to place a series of sculptures in the historic lee district to encourage visitors to take a walking tour of the downtown area.

next spring, that idea will become a reality.

this week, a call went out to sculptors nationwide to apply for sculpturetour salina, an exhibition of sculptures to be placed along a three-block stretch of santa fe avenue from may 2011 through april 2012.

artists can download applications from www.sculp turetoursalina.com. entry deadline is nov. 1.

applying artists are instructed to send digital photos of their work on a cd with three views — front, side and back. sculptors may enter a maximum of three original sculptures, and all must be safe and family-friendly.

a local panel of judges will make final selections by dec. 15.

about 22 sculptures are expected be chosen and placed on a series of pedestals on santa fe avenue from mulberry to ash streets, said mike hoppock, chairman of the sculpturetour salina project.

“our goal is to have a wide variety of sculptures, a little bit of everything,” he said.

sculptures may be constructed from metal, stone, bronze or just about any type of material — as long as the material used is durable.

“it has to be appropriate for outdoor exhibition, and it has to last for 11 months in the kansas climate,” said phyll klima, director of salina downtown inc., 205 w. ash.

installation of sculptures is planned for may 7.

the sculpture tour has been in development for nearly a year. in september 2009, a group of salina leaders took a salina chamber of commerce sponsored trip to sioux city, iowa, and sioux falls, s.d. their objective was to gather ideas to help salina grow and prosper.

it was agreed that a sculpture tour, already successfully implemented at sioux falls, would be a great opportunity for salina, klima said.

“this fit our city pretty well, and it was a project that could be scaled to the size of our community,” she said.

a series of volunteer committees researched the project, created submission rules and marked off sites between ash and mulberry streets where sculptures could be placed, hoppock said.

hoppock hopes the tour will help better educate the community about art while serving as a good economic development program for downtown.

“this will help make salina a destination area for people,” he said. “if a family comes to salina to go to kenwood cove, maybe they’ll take part of the afternoon to shop downtown. the (sculpture tour) will be another reason to keep people in the downtown area.”

hoppock said special programs and marketing plans also are being developed to accompany the exhibition.

the tour also will benefit participating artists. while the sculptures are on loan to salina for 11 months, artists can choose to put their work on sale, klima said.

additionally, viewers will be able to vote for their favorite sculptures by filling out ballots that will be available at a number of downtown salina locations and businesses, klima said.

the people’s choice award will result in a purchase award of up to $15,000 from the city of salina. additionally, there will be juror’s best of show awards of $3,000 for the overall winner, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place.

the selection committee will consist of seven people, including representatives from salina arts and humanities, the salina art center, art professionals and sculpture tour sponsors, said jury chairman trey mowery.

the plan is for the sculpture tour to be an annual exhibition, mowery said, and he hopes the number of sculptures increases as public interest increases.

“from visual arts to performing arts, this is another enhancement of what salina has to offer,” he said. “it can be a regional draw for us, so the economic impact it could have for downtown could be huge.”

nreporter gary demuth can be reached at 822-1405 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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