By NATALIE SAYEWICH
Thursday, March 6, 2014
The DownEast Sculpture Exhibition, now in its 10th year, has expanded beyond its usual territory of downtown Greenville and East Carolina University to stretch into several locations in Winterville as well.
The Pitt County Arts Council has worked with the town of Winterville, Pitt Community College and the Greenville Museum of Art to create new locations which will display the top pieces from the competition’s outdoor sculpture division for years to come.
Of the nine outdoor sculpture locations that will feature the top pieces from the competition each year, five are new. The second-place piece from the competition will be displayed in front of Winterville Town Hall, third place will be at PCC and two other top pieces at the Winterville Police Department and the library. The fourth place winner will be displayed at the Greenville Museum of Art.
The top piece from the outdoor division of the exhibition will continue to be placed in front of Chico’s downtown and three pieces will still be in front of ECU’s Mendenhall Student Center. Each location sponsors its own sculpture.
“This is really exciting because we’re really creating a public art presence,” Pitt County Arts Council director Holly Garriott said. “The goal is that we’re going to be approaching every town to see if they’ll be a part of this and hope other entities throughout Pitt County will also be a part of it.”
The juror for the exhibition, Isaac Duncan III, chose the top nine pieces from 52 submissions and gave recommendations for the order of those nine. The entities hosting the sculptures then chose among the recommendations.
Area artists were well represented in the outdoor division with ECU professor Hanna Jubran taking the Best in Show honor with the piece “Midsummer.” Jubran also won in the outdoor division’s inaugural year. ECU alumnus Adam Walls’ piece “Surprise” took third place and current ECU student Jordan Parah took fifth place with “An Autumn’s Path.”
Winterville resident and PCC instructor Matt Amante had two pieces chosen — “Semi Circle Balance Study #9” in sixth place and “Semi Circle Balance Study #11” in eighth.
Recent ECU graduate Megan Banchant’s “Artifacts” took seventh and Ayden’s Carl Billingsley took ninth with “Nimbus.”
“I think that’s one thing we’ve got to remember and be proud of,” Garriott said, “not only the talent that comes out of ECU, but the artistic talent of our community artists as well.”
The indoor portion of the exhibition, sponsored by the ECU student activities board, is split between the school’s Mendenhall Gallery and Emerge and received 108 entries from around the country, from which Duncan chose 30 to go on display.
“We asked him to give us 40 to 50, but he said ‘nope, I’m only doing 30.’ So he was very selective,” Garriott said. “He was similar with the outdoor selections too. He was very selective, which is exciting for these artists that were chosen.”
Melissa Van Sandt’s “Gone” took first place, “Tractor Plow” by Kurt Dyrhaug took second and “Agrarian Stories” by Greg Mueller took third. “Uncoiled,” by Greenville’s Andy Denton was named honorable mention along with Andrew Smith’s “The Shoreline.”
Duncan’s selections include a wide variety of media and types of sculpture including ceramics, installation pieces and mixed media.
“When people think of sculpture, they think of bronze or metal constructions or figurative works,” Garriott said. “It’s really exciting to see the range of work that was selected and it makes you think, ‘OK, so what does ‘sculpture’ really mean?’ Really, our only eligibility was that it had to be three dimensions.”