The City of Owensboro and the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts unveiled a new sculpture Tuesday on the south side of the C. Waitman Taylor, Jr., City Hall Building at Fourth and Daviess Streets.
This new addition to downtown Owensboro is a part of the Owensboro Museum of Fine Arts’ community service project, RIVERARTES: The Art of Placemaking, designed to acquire a public art collection for the City of Owensboro.
This is the 11th outdoor sculpture in the public art initiative, according to Mayor Tom Watson who addressed the crowd at Tuesday’s unveiling. The previous 10 works of art are valued at more than $300,000 and have been acquired by the art museum for Owensboro’s public art collection and installed in the downtown area, Watson said.
The sculpture entitled “Lincoln” is a life-size bronze depicting the sixteenth president of the United States sitting on a park bench with top hat in hand. Sculpted by Mark Lundeen of Loveland, Colo., “Lincoln” is leased for the RIVERARTES program by the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation with project support provided by Ann Murphy Kincheloe.
OMFA Executive Director Mary Bryan Hood told those gathered around the sculpture Tuesday that the Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation has sponsored five of the 11 pieces around Owensboro.
“This would not be possible without their patronage,” said Bryan Hood, commenting that it is remarkable to have 11 art installations in a community the size of Owensboro.
All of the sculptures leased or purchased for the public art project originated from sculpture exhibitions of national scope held at the art museum in 2014, 2016 and 2018, according to a news release from OMFA. The exhibitions, sponsored by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, featured proposals for public art submitted by artists from across the country. The next national exhibit is scheduled for 2020. Private donors support two-year leases of $5,000 for each sculpture or purchase them outright from the RIVERARTES exhibitions.
Mark Lundeen, who sculpted “Lincoln,” is the brother of George Lundeen who has three other works of public art in Owensboro, including “Harvest Dreams” installed in Riverfront Crossing, “Hometown” on the Daviess County Courthouse lawn and a recently completed bronze sculpture of the late motorcycle racing star Nicky Hayden, installed in front of the Owensboro Convention Center.
Mark Lundeen has sculptures in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the McDonalds Corporate Collection and the Denver International Airport. A major work commissioned by NASA memorializes one of the Apollo 13 astronauts and is installed in the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D. C. He currently is completing a second commission for NASA.