Safety a priority for outdoor art project

Tanya Flores, Journal and Courier
November 24, 2015


                       (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)

                       (Photo: John Terhune/Journal & Courier)

There will be two lions and one tiger sculpture. The rest will be bears. Local artists, who have been selected by a panel of judges, will decorate or paint the bears.

The sculptures will be fastened securely to concrete slabs and placed in well-lit areas.

The art museum also is working with a local security company to develop a tracking device that can locate missing sculptures, Smith said.

The fiberglass sculptures will be installed in time for Round the Fountain Art Fair, which is set for May 23.

The summer art project is a major fundraiser for the art museum. Bob Rohrman Auto Group is sponsoring the event for a donation of $20,000. Top-tier sponsors can purchase a sculpture with a donation of $5,000 or more.

Remaining sculptures will be auctioned in October.

The goal is to raise $150,000, Smith said.

The summer art project is not only a fundraising mechanism but a fulcrum for community engagement, according to officials and local artists.

“People bring their families downtown to see the pieces,” said Barb Reed, chairwoman of the project planning committee and a member of the art museum’s board of directors. “The kids get really excited about it.”

The art museum has taken two bears sponsored by the two cities — a voyageur-inspired bear created by local artists Lorie Amick and LaDonna Vohar and a street-style bear created by Zach Medler — to community events, such as Mosey Down Main Street and Boo at the Zoo, Reed said.

“Everyone that came by and chatted with us remembers the hogs, frogs and dogs,” she said. “It’s amazing to see how the artists transform the pieces.”

Amick said it’s an “awesome way,” to support the art museum and be involved in public art education.

“It’s just a great way to get art out to people in the community,” she said.

How to get involved

The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette will launch its “Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my!” public art exhibit in May.

For more information or to become a sponsor, visit www.artlafayette.org.