By Cindy Trueblood
The gala dinner kicking off the annual outdoor sculpture exhibit was an inspiration again this year as we celebrated the talented artists who submitted their pieces and recognized the sponsors and patrons who help make it all possible. But there was a different twist this time around as we awarded two gifted young student sculptors who participated in the very first iteration of our new Young Creators Program. Each of the winners was awarded a $300 scholarship from Art Around the Corner.
Brad Harr, 17 years old, displayed an original metal sculpture that he completed in a Dixie High School welding class. Titled “Chain Rose,” it showcases the intriguing contrast of a delicate flower supported by a heavy chain stem.
“I found the perfect piece of chain, and an old metal grate for the base that would have been thrown away,” Harr said. “To me, the piece means that no matter how much you get beat up, it will shape you and make you stronger. This whole experience makes me want to do more creative things. I like taking these random items and making them into something interesting.”
Logan Clark, 16 and attending Dixie High School, exhibited his work “Vaquero.” The piece combines welded horseshoes and scrap metal in an intricate creation that brings to mind the old west. Clark, son of noted local sculptor Matt Clark, has an artistic streak that runs deep. As an infant, his father would take him into the studio with him and he started welding at age 6. When he was 8 years old, he created a robot with gears that moved. Arranging items and components in strange, unexpected ways is what fires his imagination.
Last fall, Art Around the Corner began this new initiative to encourage and grow high-school-aged artists living within the Washington County School District. The centerpiece of the Young Creators Program is a juried contest featuring original sculpture. The mission is to provide a platform for young, emerging artists to receive exposure and gain confidence in their artistic abilities.
“It’s so wonderful to see this program come to life”, said Kasi Miller, Art Around the Corner board member. “We want to inspire the younger generation to keep art alive and thriving in our great community. Having them at the gala lets us honor them just as we honor older, experienced sculptors. It’s a place for these up-and-coming artists to be surrounded by those that can help them grow and develop into their greatness.”
This coming fall, we’ll be launching another Young Creators contest, working through the schools to announce the program and bring more new talent into the southern Utah creative community. So for budding young artists, their parents, and their art teachers, now is the time to start thinking about concepts that could be entered into the contest. Up to 12 student artists can be selected, and each will be invited to attend the gala dinner in the spring as Art Around the Corner debuts the new works of art in the outdoor sculpture exhibit.
Art Around the Corner is a nonprofit foundation working to enhance downtown St. George with captivating outdoor art. The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is the foundation’s flagship project, which each year selects around two dozen sculptures for a temporary installation. Organizations and individuals can buy pieces for public or private installation. The foundation retains a portion of the proceeds, which in turn funds expansion of the city’s permanent sculpture collection.