updated: 12/12/2007 5:04:35 PM

Carmel to Purchase New Statues

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The City of Carmel will buy 11 additional statues from sculptor J. Seward Johnson to help create a walkable outdoor museum of art in the Arts & Design District. The city is paying $979,000 for the statues.

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Press Release

Carmel, Ind. -- The City of Carmel has signed a contract for the purchase of 11 additional statues from internationally acclaimed sculptor J. Seward Johnson. These statues will complement the City’s current collection from this artist, who has been referred to as the Norman Rockwell of American Sculpture. Many of these statues will be placed in the Arts & Design District to create a walkable outdoor museum of art, although exact locations have not been pin pointed. The unique design of the sculptures turns heads because of their life-like appearance. Johnson uses a technique to apply paint to the bronze sculpture making the life-size pieces appear realistic.

“The addition of these realistic sculptures enhances the enjoyment of a visit to the Carmel Arts & Design District. Visitors to the area will be able to discover the sculptures as they shop and dine in the area. Many will stop and have their picture taken with the sculpture to capture the moment. We realize the tremendous impact that the arts have on economic development and are investing in the district to help attract customers and businesses to the area,” said Mayor Jim Brainard.

The total amount of the contract for all 11 statues is $979,000, which reflects a ten percent discount to the City of Carmel. This discount price includes the modifications requested to customize certain statues making them unique to Carmel, Indiana. The original price, without the discount, would have been $1,121,000. The statues are being paid for out of the one percent for the arts portion of the City budget and payments are subject to annual appropriations. The first of the 11 statues included in this contract was placed on loan with the City earlier this year and installed in front of Joe’s Meat and Fish Market in the Arts & Design District. It is called, “Holding Out,” and depicts an older woman holding shopping bags.

The second statue in this series will be “The Right Light.” This statue shows an artist at an easel and will be customized so that the image on the “canvas” reflects the Arts & Design District from the viewpoint of the statue. The exact location of this piece is yet undetermined, other than it will be placed in the Arts & Design District.

Subsequent deliveries include the following pieces of art:
· “Oh, It’s You, Welcome” – a smiling police officer assisting passers by
· “Unconditional Surrender” – image of sailor kissing nurse from VJ day
· “My World” – A little girl with a book
· “Who’s in Charge?” – a boy riding on his father’s shoulders
· “Big Sister” – Girl trying on sister’s shoe
· “One Man’s Search” – boy sitting on a bench reading wearing a school sweater, which will be customized to carry the Carmel High School emblem
· “Things To Do” – Seated woman writing a list, which will be customized to show design notes
· “Elemental” – couple with umbrella, which will be customized to show the couple carrying an antique mirror and shopping bag.
· Ambassador of the Streets” – Woman walking a dog

Including the “Holding Out” statue mentioned earlier in the release, the other statues that are currently in this collection include:

· “First Ride” – unveiled December 10, 2005; along Monon Trail just south of Main Street; depicts father helping daughter learn to ride a bike; purchased by the City of Carmel
· “Sidewalk Concert” – unveiled April 20, 2006; outside Carmel Music Store on north side of Main Street just east of Lurie Gallery of Art; shows a violinist serenading passers by; purchased by the Carmel Redevelopment Commission and Carmel Economic Development Committee
· “There, Now You Can Grow” – unveiled April 20, 2006; just outside World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery on the northeast corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue NW; small girl watering flowers; purchased by the City of Carmel
· “Confirming Predictions” – unveiled April 20, 2006; located on a bench just outside Arts & Design District office; man in suit reading stock market information; purchased by the City of Carmel.

Johnson wasn’t always a sculpture; he started as a painter and then, in 1968, he decided to try his hand at the medium of sculpture and has focused on life-size bronze cast figures. It turned out to be a great decision, as more than 200 pieces of Johnson’s work have been featured in private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as prominent public places such as Rockefeller Center and the World Trade Center in New York City and Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, Canada. Johnson's work has also been selected for the International Sculpture Conference Exhibition and is sited in Washington, D.C. on a long term loan. He has also had exhibitions in the Galleria Ca D'oro, Piazza di Spagna, Rome, the RW Norton Art Museum, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Wave Hill Sculpture Park, the Jacksonville Art Museum at Yale University, and solo exhibitions in Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas, California, New York, Washington, D.C., as well as in Mexico and Canada.

Source: City of Carmel

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