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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

WNC Sculpture Center and Park to host a variety of new programming – Watauga Democrat

The Western NC Sculpture Center and Park is operated by Appalachian State University Alum Joesph Bigley and Boone native Zachary Smith-Johnson.
The sculpture park is located in near the Patterson School Foundation in Lenoir. 
Tripp Jarvis is one of the many artists that have sculptures in the park.
Matt Amante’s “The Watcher” is a sculpture made with painted steel.
The sculpture park is open for picnicking and has grassy areas and diverse foliage.
Renowned artist Patrick Dougherty uses natural materials to build on sight.

The Western NC Sculpture Center and Park is operated by Appalachian State University Alum Joesph Bigley and Boone native Zachary Smith-Johnson.
The sculpture park is located in near the Patterson School Foundation in Lenoir. 
Tripp Jarvis is one of the many artists that have sculptures in the park.
Matt Amante’s “The Watcher” is a sculpture made with painted steel.
The sculpture park is open for picnicking and has grassy areas and diverse foliage.
Renowned artist Patrick Dougherty uses natural materials to build on sight.
LENOIR — The Western North Carolina Sculpture Center and Park features more than 70 works for free public viewing and a 10,000 square foot studio space for the resident artists to utilize.
After opening in November 2019, the nonprofit organization did its best to provide a safe means for the community to view and create art. The outdoor park, located on an old boarding school campus run by the Patterson School Foundation, plans to host more educational programming as event restrictions subside in addition to being open daily from dusk til dawn.
The park has diverse typography with an open space, flowing creek and trail leading into a wooded area. The sculptures are made of materials to withstand the elements, most of which being metals ranging from welded steel to iron. The sculpture park is an opportunity for emerging artists to have a depository for their work that is viewable by the public alongside recognizable names.
A group of about five artists work out of the studio space, assisting sculpture park founders Joseph Bigley and Zachary Smith-Johnson with projects in exchange for equipment access and workspace. The organization also hosts artist residencies and internships. The residency coincides with an annual spring iron pour.
The organization in planning programming free for military veterans to engage with blacksmithing, welding and mold making in addition to several other educational opportunities.
“We’re really trying to increase out k through 12 programming. There are certain things that we do that correspond with these iron pours that are really easy for young people to engage with, essentially cast their own design in iron,” said Bigley. “Art is usually the first thing cut in public education and being an artist and faculty member at App State, I certainly have a conviction behind the benefits of the creative process.”
A monthly music series began in April and will continue through November featuring local musicians. The music series takes place mid-day the second Saturday of each month and includes sculpture tours.
A public iron pour will take place on May 28 that will include live music, food trucks, blacksmithing and other demonstrations alongside live music and food trucks.Leading up to the May 28 iron pour will be a series of scratch block workshops for the public to participate in and have something to take home. A second iron pour will take place on June 4, and though this event is smaller, the public is still invited to attend.
The sculpture park is a non-profit organization that hosts volunteer opportunities for larger events. For more information, visit www.wncsculpture.org or WNC Sculptures on Facebook and Instagram.
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