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September 2011

Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, NC, Presents 26th Annual Sculpture Celebration on Sept. 10, 2011

The Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, NC, in partnership with the Tri State Sculptors Association is announcing the 26th Annual Sculpture Celebration. Recognized as the longest-running sculpture event in the southeast, it will be presented on Saturday, Sept.10, 2011, from 9am-4pm at a new location this year – the beautiful T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, NC.

Celebrating its 26th year, the Sculpture Celebration will feature sculptural artwork by artists from the eastern US in competition for cash prizes totaling over $10,000. For this day, over 150 sculptures – realistic and abstract, traditional and contemporary, movable and stationary, indoor and outdoor – will adorn the Broyhill Walking Park.

On Friday evening, after the largest sculptures are put in place using a “knuckle boom” during the day, the Caldwell Arts Council will host The Blue Jeans Preview Party where sculptors, patrons, and artists will gather for dinner and live music. Following dinner will be a presentation by the competition judge, Ken Rollins of Rollins Fine Art Services in St. Petersburg, FL. The Blue Jeans Preview Party is open to everyone; however, tickets are required and must be purchased at a cost of $15 per person in advance from the Caldwell Arts Council.

From 9am to 4pm on Saturday, Sept. 10, visitors may stroll through the park and enjoy three-dimensional art and live music; savor hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, Blue Moose coffee drinks, and other treats from local vendors. Members of the Foothills Art Gallery will be present to assist children during the day with a variety of art activities. Awards will be announced at 3:30pm followed by a walk-through and discussion by the judge. Admission to the Sculpture Celebration is free.

Registration is open to any 3-D artist up to the day of the event, and each sculptor may present up to three sculptures. A registration prospectus is available by request from the Caldwell Arts Council or online at ( Cost to register the day of the Sculpture Celebration is $60; however, discounts are available for early registration.

The Sculpture Celebration began in 1985 with a simple idea and a pig weather vane, which now adorns the roof of the Caldwell Arts Council at the corner of College Avenue and Norwood Street in Lenoir. Since then, Caldwell County's interest in sculpture has become a near obsession. Caldwell County is recognized for maintaining one of the largest collections of public sculpture per capita in the United States.

The pig was the first in the Caldwell Arts Council's current collection of 77 publicly-displayed sculptures, most of which are outdoors for anyone to enjoy at any time of day. Not only has this unique collection of art become a major attraction and point of pride for the area, it has also brought some national attention. In 2006, then NC Secretary of Cultural Resources Libba Evans announced that Lenoir had more public sculpture per capita than any community of its size in the United States. In addition, the Sculpture Celebration and the permanent collection have been featured in North Carolina’s Our State magazine, on a UNC-TV special, noted in the Orlando Sentinel, and dubbed by the Charlotte Observer as the place “where sculpture reigns”.

The annual Sculpture Celebration has been a constant driving force in building up the area’s collection as well as creating a sculptor-friendly environment. It started small but now attracts artists and visitors from across the country. “It’s a great show for experienced artists, but also great for the first-time experience,” Caldwell Arts Council Executive Director Lee Carol Giduz said.

Lenoir is located in Caldwell County in the beautiful foothills of the North Carolina mountains, off Hwy 321 between Hickory and the Blowing Rock / Boone area.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Council at 828/754-2486 or visit (


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