Cary votes on next wave of downtown sculptures

akenney@newsobserver.comApril 27, 2013 

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— The public will have a say in Cary’s next round of art displays.

Cary Visual Art, a local nonprofit, is hosting an online vote through May 3 to select part of this year’s downtown sculpture installation.

This will be the first year that public input shapes the installation, which over five iterations has brought dozens of pieces through downtown, from the bisected metal horse on Academy Street to the 70-foot bamboo bow in front of Town Hall.

In the past, a rotating art professional has selected all of the winning pieces, which stand in Cary for nearly a year or more. This year, two “Community’s Choice” winners will be selected by an Internet vote from among four candidates, while a judge will choose the other 10 sculptures.

The vote is meant to draw people into the creation of the yearly display, which in the past has inspired praise, befuddlement and every emotion in between.

“We wanted people to feel like they had a part in selecting the pieces, and in addition, we hope that it will help people understand the process,” said Clare Sifford, director of Cary Visual Art. “A lot of people know that they just stand up and don’t really understand that we have a nationwide competition and this is a nationally known exhibition.”

She stressed that the four sculptures up for a vote aren’t “rejects” or wild cards. The candidates for the vote include the hollowed-out, holey spires of Christian Hansen’s “Bare Bones”; Wayne Trapp’s “Back from Kyoto”; Mark Krucke’s “Dancing Birches”; and Robert Coon’s “Intersection.”

Voters will be allowed to cast ballots for two of the four sculptures.

Funding for the installation comes in part from an annual art ball and an artists’ reception and from grants, including about 10 percent in government funding. This year’s competition will cost about $30,000 in all.

Most or all of last year’s sculptures will be removed in June, though some may be kept downtown if they are purchased by property owners or the town. Dapple, the two-part horse, for example, now belongs to the town of Cary and likely will remain downtown.

The next round of sculptures will be installed over the summer. A total of 31 artists from nine states entered this year’s competition.

Kenney: 919-460-2608 or

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