Avon adds nine new sculptures in a rotating, outdoor arts installation
The sculptures are part of the town’s push to become a more welcoming community for art and artists
Avon is making moves to become an artistic destination in the mountains.
Over the past few years, the town has been focusing on bringing new vibrancy and energy to the town core through the addition of artistic initiatives.
“We wanted to approach the arts programming so Avon is known as a community that welcomes art and artists,” said Danita Dempsey, the Culture, Arts and Special Events manger for the town of Avon. “The presence and access to any public art enlivens our areas and grounds; it makes them more welcoming and creates that deeper interaction with the places that we live, work and visit.”
On Friday night, the latest of its new art initiatives launched. Appropriately named, Art Around Avon, features nine new temporary sculptures that will be featured around town for the next year.
Residents and Town Council members joined the sculpture’s artists on Friday to take the first walking tour of the new project. Strolling down Avon Road, the group was able to take in seven of the nine sculptures; with the final two located just a hop, skip and a jump away in Chapel Square.
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“Avon has been striving to be more of a walkable community over the past number of years,” Dempsey said. “We selected strategic locations on our main thoroughfares.”
The nine sculptures were selected by a jury panel, which consisted of local arts community members. According to Dempsey, they were selected to be somewhat of a departure from the town’s signature bronze sculptures.
“We were looking for something other than bronze sculptures — not to diminish how beautiful and amazing they are —but something that was different, something that has bright, cheerful colors,” Dempsey said.
With this, each artist hoped their piece would bring something unique and lively to the town.
“It adds personality to a community, it’s not manufactured,” said Joe Burleigh, a Carbondale-based artist that contributed the Logarythm sculpture to the project. The sculpture is also a sound sculpture, with cables tuned to create music when interacted with.
“I’m hoping people will strum on it and get a feeling for the vibration,” he said.
For many artists, contributed sculptures to the town was a way for nature and art to interact.
“Our goal is to engage and inspire folks using materials, forms, colors and textures from our beautiful planet earth. We look forward to the opportunity to bring our unique whimsical energy into [Avon], adding a little something new to hopefully compliment and celebrate the existing architecture and landscape,” said Charlotte Zink, who contributed the Abundance Tree and Ichthyology sculptures to the project.
“The natural beauty of Avon, I think, taps into why these exhibitions work so well,” said Matthew Duffy, who contributed both the Sunrise/Sunset sculpture and the Low-Poly Open Heart to Art Around Avon. “There is a nice comparison between natural beauty and the art of human hands.”
In order to become a more artistic community, the plan is also for this installation to grow each year. Next May and June, the town will begin the process of uninstalling the current sculptures and replacing them with at least nine more. The ultimate goal is for the Art Around Avon project to have 25 temporary art installations each year.
“Hopefully this is just a launching pad for us to further develop these arts programs,” Dempsey said. Just this summer, the town has installed a new musical instruments interactive exhibit, a new mural on the Rec Center and will host a number of arts events, including its new Avon Weekly Art Expo, which starts June 23 in Possibilities Plaza.
As the town’s efforts continue, it is inching toward creating an environment primed for both art and artists.
“There is something about art, and public sculpture in particular, that can lift you up. It can be an unexpected encounter, it can be a little pop of color, it can be a little odd exploration into the motivations of another human,” Duffy said. “The best part is public sculpture can be experienced by everyone. Aside from little sparks of joy for the residents of Avon, I think public exhibitions like this tend to benefit communities by bringing people who might not otherwise visit.”
To plan your walking tour of the new sculptures, and to see the classic bronze sculptures, around Avon, visit arcg.is/10X49K.