CLAYTON — The town has taken a huge step toward making itself known as a community for the arts.
This month, Clayton is placing eight sculptures around downtown, where they will remain for the next year.
“This is the next big step we needed to really exhibit public art throughout the town,” said Councilman Michael Grannis.
Suzette Rodriguez, president of Clayton Visual Arts, presented photos of the sculptures to the Town Council at its June 3 meeting.
“We think this will inspire and delight downtown visitors,” she said.
The sculptures will be placed in highly visible spots, with two at The Clayton Center, two at Town Square, one at the library and three on pedestals at Horne Square.
They are made of a variety of materials.
The steps of The Clayton Center will play host to a towering stainless-steel tectonic structure. The lawn of the library will hold a swirling wooden sculpture representing the eye of a hurricane.
The mayor, town staff, business owners, artists and representatives of the Downtown Development Association selected the sculptures last month.
Ten artists submitted 17 pieces to choose from.
Many of the artists are from nearby towns.
Each artist will receive $1,000 for submitting a sculpture, and the selection committee will choose one artist to receive $3,000 as a prize.
The goal is to make the sculpture exhibit an annual display, and Rodriguez said she hopes to reach out to artists again next spring to find different work to put on display.
“The Sculpture Trail provides another tool to making downtown Clayton a destination,” said Downtown Development coordinator Bruce Naegelen.
Since the sculptures are on loan to the town, the council asked every citizen to help protect the artwork and report any attempts to damage them.