The City of Fredericksburg’s Public Sculpture Program is entering into its fourth year. This innovative effort provides a one-year long temporary display for six large-scale outdoor public sculptures at key gateway locations in the city. And at the end of the year in late September, a fresh new group of six artworks will be installed. This program is designed to be a fun and interesting way for the public to engage with art, which changes yearly.
The Public Sculpture Project got its start under the auspices of the Fredericksburg Arts Commission in 2016, and was soon embraced by the community. Jane Shelhorse, Director of Fredericksburg’s Parks, Recreation and Events Department said, “People are reaching out to city staff and asking, ‘where can I see the sculptures and how long will they be up?’ This community interaction is exactly what we love to see!”
Preston Thayer, the project director, notes that when the program was first launched, it was uncertain how residents and visitors would respond. Now that sculptures have been here for several years, they are being incorporated into people’s conversations and appreciation of local art. Many people have expressed their support for this addition to the city’s lively art scene. Thayer says “It’s very rewarding to see pedestrians walking by the work and stop to take pictures.”
Residents and visitors alike are invited to explore these artworks at the following sites through the end of September:
- Luke Achterberg, “Killer Bee.” Painted steel sculpture located at Route 1 at the Falmouth Bridge.
- Charlie Brouwer, “A Future and a Hope.” Locust wood sculpture located at Wolfe Street triangle.
- Jim Gallucci, “Morning Glory Bench IV.” Powder coated steel sculpture located at Old Mill Park on the Heritage trail
- Ray Katz, “WinterMoon.” Brushed Aluminum sculpture located in Dixon Park
- Harry McDaniel, “Lightning Sanctuary.” Aluminum sculpture located on Caroline Street between Frederick St and the VRE station
- John W. Parker, “Swallowtail II.” Steel plate sculpture located at Fall Hill Ave at Village Lane
On June 22, 2019 at 10:00 am the Fredericksburg Economic Development and Tourism Department is hosting a FREE walking tour of two of the sculptures, guided by Mr. Thayer, who has been involved with the Sculpture Project since its inception. Meet Preston at the pocket park at the triangle intersection of Wolfe Street, Prince Edward Street, and Kenmore Avenue to find out more about these large public art installations. The talk is free and will conclude at the sculpture site behind the VRE station on Caroline Street. Wear walking shoes and please feel free to bring cameras. Selfies and sharing images of these sculptures is encouraged!