The Maryville Public Arts Committee announced its selections for this year’s new downtown sculptures.
MPAC selected four new sculptures to be unveiled and on display in May. Among them are Sweet Pops of Brilliance by Craig Snyder, Sallying with Grandpa on the Seashore by Bobbie Carlyle, Sunriser by Bobbie Carlyle and Germination III by Nathan Johansen.
The sculptures come from other towns throughout the country and are chosen by board members in the MPAC.
MPAC President Mark Hendrix, along with other board members, invited downtown business owners to help in the selection process. They began with a list of more than 100 sculptures and narrowed it down to eight top choices upon which they voted for top four.
Once they compiled the top four, they were able to contact the artists of their picks and lease them for one year at $1,500 each.
The MPAC holds annual fundraising events throughout the year in order to raise money for the sculptures.
The sculptures that are installed downtown now will be removed soon after Northwest’s spring graduation, and the new sculptures will be installed shortly after. The sculptures that will be replaced are Sunday With Jesse by Susan Geissler, Generations by Ben Hammond, Girls Can Do Anything by Julie Denkers and Nucleus II by Jeffrey Satter.
A formal unveiling of the new pieces will be held during the annual Art, Rhythm and Brews festival in May, one of the fundraisers put on by the MPAC with the help of local businesses and numerous community leaders. The festival aims to turn Maryville’s courthouse square into a celebration of art specifically the new sculptures and their significance.
Hendrix joined the MPAC in 2016. He denotes art as a fundamental role in any thriving community.
“Art is such an important thing to a community,” Hendrix said. “Our goal is to get people to stop and appreciate local art and businesses in the square that normally wouldn’t otherwise.”
The MPAC strives to provide art education while enriching the lives of the town’s citizens and visitors and beautifying the historic downtown square.
“We love when people from out of town see the sculptures and just hang out for a bit,” Hendrix said. “We have a lot of great things going on here in Maryville, and a simple stop on the square can lead to further discoveries.”
Maryville Downtown Improvement Organization President Stephanie Campbell said the sculptures and other local art provide an atmosphere that connects Maryville to the world around us.
“The art adds a vibrancy to downtown and the community,” Campbell said. “The revealing of the art is a great atmosphere with incredible people and organizations who are committed to growth and development of the community.”
The Gallery of Outdoor Art Program is the MPAC’s foundational project. They have funded the installation of unique sculptures since the early foundation of the group in 2014.