Decatur art event features original life-sized sculpture works by local artists

Decatur Sculpture Walk logo.

News release from the Decatur Sculpture Walk committee:

Inaugural art event features original life-sized sculpture works by local artists

(Decatur, Ind., July 3, 2012) – The first annual Decatur Sculpture Walk will feature nine original works of art by northeast Indiana artists and three original pieces recently exhibited in the preeminent event of its kind, SculptureWalk Sioux Falls.

The installation date for the finished sculptures will be Aug. 23 and located along the historic Second Street business district in downtown Decatur, Ind. in northeast Indiana. An artist lecture will be held at 2 p.m. at the Adams Public Library one block from the sculpture walk. Children’s activities will follow at the library. The formal sculpture unveiling will occur at 6 p.m. followed by the Taste of Decatur food event.

Walking maps will guide visitors to the various sculpture locations. Local businesses and other donors have made it possible to offer the walk and lecture free to the public. The public is asked to vote for their favorite sculpture by Nov. 30. The People’s Choice award will be announced in early December. Only northeast Indiana artists are eligible to win the People’s Choice Award. Sculptures are original works that have been created in the last three years.

“We are thrilled to have eight outdoor pieces and four indoor pieces for our first year. The wide range of subject matter and materials will make for a very engaging visitor’s experience,” said Decatur Mayor John Schultz. The 12 original pieces range in size from 20 inches to 10 feet tall. The sculptures are constructed from one or more mediums, including welded steel, mahogany, walnut and fiberglass.

Sculptures are for sale but must remain on display until next year’s event. The Decatur Sculpture Walk committee retains a portion of sale proceeds to help underwrite future sculpture walk efforts and eventually begin purchasing permanent art for the community.

Greg Mendez’s exterior sculpture “Effortlessly Buoyant,” stands over six feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. “Generally my work tries to depict movement of reaching or drifting. The mood for this piece, at least to me, is very uplifting, which is why it’s titled the way it is. I actually imagined a graceful wall painter trying to finish her work with the final brush of paint just slightly out of reach,” the Fort Wayne artist said.

Other local artists include Jesse Costello from Fort Wayne, Curtis Rose and Aubris Taylor of Decatur and Larry Wiedman from Huntington. Three artists have chosen to enter multiple pieces in the sculpture walk. “Public Art is a visible extension of a community’s personality and openness. It is exciting to see the support for project’s like Decatur’s Sculpture Walk develop throughout the region” said Arts United Executive Director, Jim Sparrow.

The Decatur Sculpture Walk event launches just prior to opening events for the community’s popular and family-friendly Kekionga Festival that displays living history of a pioneer encampment and village.

Visitors can enjoy sculptures and, beginning on August 25, Kekionga Festival activities as they stroll through the historic downtown in the shadow of the signature Victorian courthouse built in 1873 and still in use by the county government. The Decatur River Greenway, a four-mile walking trail along the St. Mary’s River and around the city, begins downtown and follows the former Nickel Plate/Norfolk Southern Railroad and Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. A spectacular double-wide iron truss bridge over the river is a highlight.

The Decatur Sculpture Walk Committee consists of representatives from the City of Decatur, Adams County Community Foundation, North Adams Arts Council, Decatur Chamber of Commerce, Adams Public Library, area artists and business and community volunteers.
Decatur is located 20 minutes south of Fort Wayne and two hours north of Indianapolis at the cross roads of U.S. 27 and U.S. 224, just minutes from the Indiana—Ohio line.

Visit decatursculpturewalk.com for up-to-date event details. Other community information can be found at decaturin.org and decaturchamber.org/events. To become a sponsor, contact Wes Kuntzman of the Decatur Chamber of Commerce at (260) 724-2604.
Origin of the Decatur Sculpture Walk: During the 2011 Decatur Kekionga Festival, the Adams Public Library hosted a sculpture exhibit by local artist Greg Mendez. Concurrently, the library commissioned Mr. Mendez to create and install the sculpture “It Must Be a Good Book” in front of the library in memory of longtime library volunteer Dianne Linn. The sculpture was recognized as a concrete example of the positive effects an outside sculpture creates in a downtown setting. The Mendez sculpture and encouragement from the community led the artist and local leaders to begin organizing what is now the Decatur Sculpture Walk for 2012.

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