Fall brought a new look to downtown with the installation of the first phase of rotating sculptures as a part of Arts Downtown. This FrankArts program, in partnership with Josephine Sculpture Park, was sponsored by local patron Richard Rosen.
The selection process for Arts Downtown was a rigorous one. FrankArts issued a nationwide call to solicit proposals from accomplished artists with strong public art experience. Submissions were then reviewed by the Frank Arts team, which included arts professionals and a citizen representative. This is an exhibit of six sculptures across the downtown area each with its own story to tell.
• Daddylonglegs by John Parker. Parker drew his inspiration for this work from insects with their hard-shelled bodies and armor-coated, almost robotic exteriors that still manage to take flight in an instant. Parker resides in Glenside, Pennsylvania, and has shown his work throughout the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. You can view this sculpture at the entrance of the Franklin County Courthouse.
• Exuberance² by Dave Caudill. This Louisville artist’s stainless-steel work uses sweeping lines in an abstract language of rhythm and grace to affirm belief in the power of beauty. His work can be found across the U.S. and abroad, and he recently completed a large labyrinth in Bolivia. Exuberance² is located along St. Clair Street, on the north end of the Singing Bridge.
• Grace #85 by Karen Terhune. “I attempt to create a feeling of movement through stone,” says Terhune, who works primarily with limestone, alabaster, soapstone and marble. Her career as a sculptor spans more than 40 years and she eschews power tools as much as possible, preferring to work with her hands. This award-winning piece by a Louisville artist is located in front of Poor Richard’s Books.
• Chili Pepper by Jim Collins. This whimsical work features painted aluminum and a recycled turbine blade. Part of a long-running series by the Signal Mountain, Tennessee artist, Chili Pepper is characteristic of Collins’ work, which uses silhouettes of people and animals constructed in various metals. He received his MFA in sculpture from Ohio University and has work in museums and public collections across the U.S. This sculpture is located near the corner of Main and St Clair streets by Subway restaurant. The “watcher” on top is looking at the marquee of the Grand Theatre.
• InMotion by Jeffrey Kiefer. Growing up in rural Indiana, Kiefer says he was fascinated by the way nature seemed to devour and erase abandoned farms and run-down steel structures, and the way nature responded by using the structures as latticework for plants to grow. This steel and wood sculpture reflects that close relationship. It can be found on West Main Street in front of the Kentucky Department of Insurance.
• Cultured Stone by Antoinette Schultze. The inspiration for this sculpture makes it especially suited for a spot in the heart of Downtown Frankfort. Vertical and horizontal ribbons meander up, down, around, under and over each other, intersecting in the center of the sculpture to form a crossroads. This is symbolic of all the intersecting past events and forces that create a life and a community. The blue squared glass that adorns the top is a symbol of the source of all life, where everything becomes one. The work of this Maine artist is located in the center of St. Clair Street in front of Chenault & Hoge.
These sculptures will remain in place for two years then, with community support, will be replaced with new pieces to provide a continuing rotating exhibit in Downtown Frankfort. The sculptures are available to purchase through the Josephine Sculpture Park. If you would like to support the Arts Downtown efforts please visit josephinesculpturepark.org to learn more and to make a tax deductible donation.
FrankArts is a group of arts professionals and arts organizations formed to foster the arts in Frankfort and Franklin County through the development and implementation of a master plan for the arts and programs like Arts Downtown. With partners including the City of Frankfort, Franklin County Fiscal Court, Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist Commission, Downtown Frankfort Inc, Josephine Sculpture Park and Joanna Hay Productions, and with the support of sponsors including Richard Rosen and Expree Credit Union, the group is working toward establishing Frankfort as the Public Art Capital of Kentucky.