Perigee by Greensboro, N.C. sculptor Dane Winkler has won Best in Show in the 2018 Salisbury Sculpture Show “Discover What’s Outside.”
This was the 10th year the Salisbury Public Art Committee has hosted the nine-month long, award-winning Sculpture Show, with 16 art pieces enlivening the downtown, four on college campuses, and three displayed in the county.
The judge for 2018 was Brandon Guthrie, an art instructor and chair of the Fine and Performing Arts Department at Cape Fear Community College. He has a bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a Master of Fine Arts from Western Carolina University. Guthrie is a practicing artist, musician and curator of contemporary art when he’s not teaching or involved in the administration of college transfer curriculum and programs.
Judge Guthrie provided the following recap of the winning entries:
Perigee is firmly anchored to the earth, with a shaft extending from a fixed pivotal point with a moveable wheel that scribes its orbit in the form of a circular depression on the ground. Interactive sculptures can be intimidating for some people, but by definition, public sculpture should be enjoyed by the public.
Perigee offers an experience beyond just the visual. When moving the wheel, one can’t help but conjure mental images of industry which also leave a mark on the Earth, but also the movements of our solar system and the magnitude of forces that are at play in that system of orbits. Perigee is a thought provoking sculpture that leaves itself open for interpretation while serving as a catalyst for dialogue which is important to any work of art.
Second place goes to Jeff Kiefer’s Beacon. Beacon is perched on a grassy hill between two buildings on Catawba College’s campus with a background of trees in the distance. It is perfectly suited for the landscape and would be best served to continue its existence in a natural setting. The cast iron elements on top are reminiscent of a rusty crab pot or some other cage-like object, but could also call attention to the industrial roots of any region. Like many relics of human endeavors, Beacon could be a nod to the past or perhaps an omen for the future. It is familiar, yet foreign and that dynamic makes Beacon engaging and approachable at the same time.
Richard Pitts won third place with his Dancing Down the Staircase sculpture. Dancing Down the Staircase is a departure from the straight lines and architectural weight of the downtown area. It seems to represent weightlessness and motion and visually calls upon some of the aesthetic and philosophical ideas of Futurism, borrowing specifically from Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, where the visual record of motion is of utmost importance. The bright red sculpture is set against the waxy green of a magnolia, perhaps leading to the sculpture’s presence and calling to mind that location can make or break any work of art.
Dana Gingras’ piece, Tinker Toy, was awarded an honorable mention. Tinker Toy establishes itself as an unsuspected element in an interior courtyard environment. It’s a welcome burst of color and weight which demands attention from onlookers while also changing the relationship that each audience would have to the courtyard itself. The dynamic is really a matter of scale. The title suggests that this is somehow a gigantic version of a childhood plaything and the fact that it drums up more questions than answers makes it successful in my opinion.
The Sculpture Show will remain in place until Friday, March 15. Sculpture show brochures are available at the Visitors’ Center, City Hall, Rowan Library and many downtown restaurants and shops. The Public Art Committee looks forward to the 2019 show, which is scheduled for installation in early April. Learn more at salisburync.gov/SculptureShow.