The outdoor exhibit “Riverartes IV, The Art of Placemaking” opens with a preview gala Saturday at the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art. The exhibition is designed to acquire a collection of public art for the community.
The 6-8 p.m. gala will demonstrate the function of public art “as a creative placemaking effort and how it can serve to further establish Owensboro as a cultural tourism destination by enhancing its public art collection” a release from OMFA reads. The exhibition and preview are sponsored by Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.
This is the fifth biennial exhibition of outdoor sculpture produced by the OMFA.
A highlight of the exhibition is the unveiling of two sculpture maquettes as gifts to the museum’s permanent collection depicting works in the City’s municipal collection. Featured are bronzes by Denny Haskew of Loveland, Colorado. These served as the miniature models from which local sponsors selected works for the City’s collection from Riverartes III and IV.
The maquettes are gifts from Native American art collector Ann Murphy Kincheloe. They represent White Deer of Autumn (a bronze Indian maiden installed downtown in McConnell Plaza) and Strength of the Maker (a Native American bronze figure installed in the museum’s Ryan Sculpture Park).
More than 100 proposals for monumental works of art were submitted by artists from across the country. The 35 sculptures selected for the exhibition are offered for lease for 2-year periods and include a wide selection of subjects, media and styles.
Selection criteria for the exhibition included quality of craftsmanship; maintainability; structural and surface soundness; attention to historical, geographic and cultural content and appropriateness for public placement.
Sites are selected by the City or sponsor and may be placed in the downtown and riverfront areas or in other public places throughout the city.
Opportunities for selections by local sponsors will continue through the exhibition’s ending date of Oct. 23. Installation of the works selected may begin at any time after contracts are signed and sites prepared. Potential sponsors may view the exhibition of proposals during regular museum hours or after hours by appointment.
Riverarts V complements the expanding collection of public art at sites throughout the community, including installations at Owensboro Convention Center, RiverPark Center, McConnell Plaza, Riverfront Crossing, Daviess County Courthouse, and OMFA’s Ryan Park.
Eleven sculptures have been acquired by sponsors for the collections of either the City of Owensboro, the Daviess County Fiscal Court or the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.
The most recent addition to the collection is Lincoln, depicting President Abraham Lincoln sitting on a park bench. The realistic bronze was acquired with support from the Marilyn and William Young Foundation.
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art is located at the corner of 9th and Frederica streets and is open Tuesday-Friday from 12-5 p.m. and weekends from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free but donations are encouraged of $3 for adults and $2 for children.