ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell’s art-loving community is rallying together to keep the art from this year’s sculpture tour.
Dozens showed up Oct. 5 to the pARTy Around Roswell to benefit the Roswell Arts Fund and its annual sculpture tour, which showcases works from artists around the nation. The sculptures, however, only crop up for a few months before disappearing forever — unless the city and community pitch in to buy the art.
This year, the group behind the tour is planning to buy four of the sculptures. The group estimates that it will need $60,000.
As part of the effort to raise the funds, the pARTy Around Roswell featured a live painting by local artist Ann Bailey capturing the spirit of the night. The painting sold for $1,100 during a live auction. The highest bidder, Bob Hagan, will have himself and his daughter, Brooke McGee, added to the center of the work to commemorate the evening.
The Roswell Arts Fund’s first priority is to purchase Sentience, which currently resides in the Heart of Roswell Park on Canton Street.
The sculpture is a reflective stainless steel model of a blooming bloodroot flower created by Atlanta-based artists David Landis.
The Downtown Development Authority has already donated $10,000 for these efforts and is challenging local businesses and organizations to match the funds.
According to the Downtown Development Authority Chairman Randy Schultz, the sculpture brings downtown Roswell alive with a vibrant, welcoming atmosphere.
“Sentience, as the focal point of the Heart of Roswell Park, mirrors the optimism, hospitality and charm of the city,” Schultz said. “We would like to see this work of art remain permanently in this location.”
Guest speaker Ann Cramer agreed and noted that public art helps connect strangers and fosters unity. The sculptures, along with the rest of the art community in Roswell, help to build and define the character of the city.
Last year, Roswell was able to buy and keep the sculpture Smoke in Town Square and Oak Leaf Triptych in Roswell Area Park.
To help their efforts, the Roswell Arts Fund created a companion audio tour guide app, Otocast. The free app helps gauge public interest in the works and lets visitors learn about their favorite works, vote and contribute funds.
This year’s ArtAround Roswell has been highly successful so far, according to Roswell Arts Fund Marketing Partner Whitney Parks. Already, they have received more donations and higher ticket sales to their gala than last year.
The group has already started planning for next year’s sculpture tour and has received more than 45 individual entries from artists across 15 states. Additionally, the 2018 tour will be held for 11 months instead of nine, allowing for continual access to public art in Roswell.
ArtAround Roswell’s next event will be held at Riverside Park on Oct. 28 and will demonstrate the art of glass blowing.
For information on the sculpture tour and to make contributions, visit artaroundroswell.com.