Julia Daniels looked on through her camera lens as a crane lowered a new color into the scenery next to Cary Town Hall.
Gray and khaki-clad maintenance workers carefully guided a 12-foot, red, black and yellow steel sculpture into place between North Academy Street and the brick Cary government building. The artwork by Michigan artist Ray Katz definitely stands out, Daniels said, “but in a good way.”
“Every town needs a splash of yellow,” she said.
Cary Visual Art, a local nonprofit, hopes Triangle residents enjoy the latest additions to the downtown Cary landscape until next July, when they’re removed.
Ten artists from across the country installed their artwork Friday at the Cary Arts Center, the Herb Young Community Center, Fidelity Bank and around Cary Town Hall to kick off Cary Visual Art’s eighth annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. A reception was held later that night to unveil them officially to the public.
This year, the exhibit features art picked by Clifford Chieffo, founder of the art and art history department at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
The crop is smaller than previous years, said Mary Davis Wallace, executive director of Cary Visual Art. Construction on South Academy Street also will prevent the group from displaying the art on Cary’s main thoroughfare.
But this year’s collection may be the group’s strongest yet, Wallace said. This year, Cary Visual Art increased its exhibition budget from $30,000 to $34,000, she said.
“Nothing is the same, but it’s very cohesive,” she said. “There’s a mix of modern and classical design.”
Katz, for instance, said his art paid homage to early 20th century artist Kazimir Malevich.
“He worked a lot with basic primary colors,” Katz said. “This is kind of like a sampling.”
Behind Town Hall, Cary resident Phil Hathcock installed a two-piece structure that he hopes is similarly thought-provoking.
He used copper, metal and aluminum to sculpt a piece that he calls “Windstone.” Long aluminum rods stick out from the base and make a soft sound when the wind blows.
“It can be a learning experience,” he said. “Sometimes you won’t feel a wind, but there’s one 10 feet above you and you don’t know about it.”
“Windstone” also can be interactive.
“I really like it because it gets some real action when you have a windy day,” Hathcock said. “Or you can reach up there and run your fingers across the rods if there’s no wind and sound it off.”
In front of Town Hall, Jonathan Bowling demonstrated the value of discarded metal by forming it into a giraffe. Bowling, from Greenville, looked on as a crane lowered his 1,000-pound artwork onto the front lawn.
“I rarely buy anything new,” he said. “I go to the scrap yard every morning.”
Sculptures by 10 artists will be on display around downtown Cary until June 17, 2016. For information on the artists and their works, go to CaryVisualArt.org.