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Cornelius News

You be the judge: Art in the park to be juried by residents

Beyond Walls - You be the judge: Art in the park to be juried by 28031 residents

June 9. Cornelius residents will be the judges in an art competition that gets under way Saturday when the “Beyond Walls” outdoor sculpture exhibit opens in Robbins Park on West Catawba.

“We decided to let the community select their favorite piece of art and plan to call it the People’s Choice Award,” says Jen Crickenberger, manager and curator of the Cornelius Arts Center, a unit of the PARC Department and the Town of Cornelius.

publicart1The exhibit features public art created by nine regional artists, including Paris Alexander, Bob Doster, Jim Gallucci, Aisling Millar McDonald, Harry McDaniel, Rich Nossel, Virginia Scotchie, Adam Walls and Jim Weitzel.

The winner will receive a $1,000 prize. Each artist participating in the town’s first public art exhibit will receive a $1,000 stipend.

The community will have the opportunity to vote at Robbins Park during the official opening Saturday between 3 pm and 6 pm and online through July 31. Cornelius Today is hosting the wine reception for artists and residents during the exhibit Saturdayafternoon.

Public art is a monumental effort. It is part of a concept in urban planning and design called “placemaking.”

Creative placemaking occurs when communities work together to activate public spaces through the integration of the arts. “Creative placemaking can take on many different shapes and forms of art. This process has proven to rejuvenate and invigorate communities across the globe,” Crickenberger said.

The town’s annual budget for public art is $20,000. The Jon Hair bronze of author Samuel Clemens in front of the Cornelius Public Library was purchased last year.

publicart2Public art is important because it offers the community free access to the arts. “Beyond Walls” could be considered ‘creative placemaking’ because it transforms Robbins Park into an outdoor gallery. This show offers a new use of this public space and yet another reason for the community to gather in a local park,” Crickenberger said.

The sculptures are on display at Robbins Park. The opening reception runs from 3 to 6 pm on Saturday. The opening festivities will include food trucks, a wine reception, kids’ crafts and live music. The opening remarks and artist talks will begin at 3:30.

The event is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through mid-November.

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