CLAYTON — In November, Clayton voters will elect three town councilmen and decide the fate of bonds for the countys public schools and community college. Before that, they will pick their favorite public sculpture.
The Clayton Public Art Advisory Board has invited residents to choose their favorite sculpture from among the seven on display in town.
We decided to let the people decide who they think is best, said Suzette Rodriguez, chairwoman of Public Art Advisory Board. The winning sculptor gets $3,000, with the money coming from the town.
Voters can cast their ballot at townofclaytonnc.org/sculpturetrail.aspx. A link there will take them to a page with photos and descriptions of the sculptures. The deadline to vote is midnight Oct. 2.
The Public Art Advisory Board will announce the winner during a free reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St.
The Public Art Advisory Board issued the call to artists to submit entries for what would become Claytons sculpture trail. The winners will remain on display until next June.
Here are the pieces on the online ballot, with briefs descriptions from the towns website.
• Balancing Spheres, by Nelson R Smith of Rocky Mount, is on display at Horne Square, 349 E. Main St. Using scrap metal from a manufacturing plant, Smith transforms rigid steel into an object that has flow, beauty and movement.
• Geyser, by Harry McDaniel of Asheville, on Horne Square. The flowing, curvy lines and reflective brushed-aluminum surface suggest water, an illusion reinforced when the top sections turn and tilt in the breeze.
• Portal VII, by Paris Alexander of Raleigh, on Horne Square. The piece carved limestone on a granite base is part of the sculptors Portal series. Other portals are on permanent display at the Duke University School of Law and Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh.
• Eye of the Hurricane, by Gary Gresko of Oriental, on the lawn of Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library, 100 S. Church St. Made from dock boards salvaged from hurricane debris, the sculpture aims to capture the invisible force of the wind and waves that destroyed these docks.
• Primal Unity, by Hanna Jubran of Grimesland, on Town Square, 110 W. Main St. The abstract, painted-steel structure depicts the beginning of growth in nature after a long winter.
• Cellestial Motion, also by Hanna Jubran, at the corner of Main and ONeil streets. The half-circular form is the sun rising or setting in the Milky Way. The horizontal and vertical lines represent rain, clouds, landscapes in art and heavenly objects usually depicted in paintings.
• Force of Nature: Generative, by Susan Moffatt of Chapel Hill, at The Clayton Center. The marble work with deeply carved ribs symbolizes the universal life force.
Gresko has been sculpting for about 30 years. I hope people get to see the pieces in person before they vote, he said. The different points of view and different lighting during the day always changes how they look, and it cant be captured in a photograph.
Moffatt praised the town for its commitment to the arts. Im very impressed with the Town of Clayton, she said. Theyve been so supportive of the artists.
Moffatt plans to make a sculpture for next years trail. The one she has in mind will remind viewers of the wavy, sinuous texture on clam shell.
Public art investment
The sculptures now on display will come next June. New ones will go up in July.
Last year, the town council appropriated $15,000 for the project. That paid for installation, concrete pads and money to the artists, who got $1,000 each.
For next year, the town has appropriated $11,000 for public art. That means the Public Art Advisory Board will have to hold a fundraiser if it hopes to do another sculpture trail and a similar project on the towns greenway.
The board will issue its first call to artists this month and make the final call Dec. 15. It will choose the winning entries in January.