Brenna Smark, Reporter
Arts Downtown is an all-volunteer organization in Puyallup that supports local art. On May 1, they added four new sculptures to the rotating art collection at Pioneer Park by the Puyallup Public Library.
In an interview conducted by The News Tribune, Arts Downtown President David DeGroot said that the aim isn’t only to make new art available to the community, but to also refresh the display.
Currently, Arts Downtown has 53 pieces of art on display, most of which can be found in Pioneer Park. Four of these 53 pieces are rotated every two years, bringing the name rotating art, while the rest are permanent pieces that simply change location occasionally.
The rotating gallery originally launched in 1995. It started out putting in 12 new pieces every year but has changed to putting in four new pieces every two years.
This year the submissions for the 2017 rotating gallery was overwhelming. Arts Downtown received a total of 81 submissions and every one went through three Arts Downtown committees before the finalists were chosen.
One of the new installations is a statue made of mild steel titled Ta-Da by C.J. Rench. The statue is more than 11 feet tall and features two figures playing. In an interview conducted by The News Tribune, Rench revealed it was inspired by the playtime he shared with his daughter.
“Earth Mother” was constructed by Cordelia Bradburn. It’s made of aluminum and features an infant floating inside a hollow globe. In in an interview with The News Tribune it was revealed that Bradburn was inspired to make the piece not only by the birth of her grandchild, but also the need to sustain the earth.
The third piece was installed by the Puyallup City Hall. It’s made of Italian marble and titled “Solar Eclipse” by Allan Sieradski. It was inspired by the dance of solar flares visible during a solar eclipse.
The fourth and final statue is titled “Joie de Vivre” meaning “Joy of Life” in French. It’s a bronze statue of a girl with outstretched arms made by David Varnau. In an interview with The News Tribune Varnau said he made the statue in the hopes that it would capture the joy that’s felt that’s visceral and yet fleeting. He sees his statue as an invitation for people to savor life.
These four new statues will remain in downtown Puyallup until 2019, when the new cycle for the rotation gallery will begin.
Two new statues have also been included as part of downtown’s more permanent collection which ended up earning People’s Choice Awards. They started out as part of the rotating gallery but were decided to be kept as permanent pieces.
“Fat Tire” is a bronze statue of a bike by Lance Carleton that was originally a $10,000 installation for the rotating gallery, but afterward was donated to the city by Arts Downtown.
“Ballerina” is a statue of a ballerina made of welded stainless steel wire sculpted by Jim Johnson. It was originally a piece in the rotating gallery, but was also soon purchased by the city.
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