New sculptures — some as tall as 20 feet and weighing 600 pounds — have been installed beside centuries-old live oaks and the camellia garden and in open fields at the Coastal Discovery Museum.
is a biennial exhibition hosted by the Public Art Fund of Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. It features 20 large-scale sculptures created by artists from around the country. Nineteen sculptures are at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, and one is at Hilton Head Island Airport. Exhibition hours coincide with the hours at the museum and the airport and the sculptures will be on display until Jan. 31.
“Here on Hilton Head Island, we are surrounded with natural beauty,” said Michael Marks, chairman of the Public Art Fund Advisory Committee. “Public Art adds a human-made element of beauty.”
In addition to works by artists from as far away as Montana, the show includes two local artists: Kevin Eichner and Mark Larkin — whose piece “Sandy Roads” was included in Hilton Head’s 2013 Public Art Exhibition and is permanently installed at Coligny Beach Park.
Local residents can vote for their favorite piece as part of the People’s Choice Awards. The artists for the top three sculptures receive a cash award.
There is also a Public Art Facebook contest: One selfie with the sculptures will be randomly selected Jan. 8; the winner picks a local arts organization to receive a $5,000 grant from Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.
The committee works closely with Island School Council for the Arts. High school students help with the installation process, artists visit schools, and students come to the exhibition on field trips.
The Public Art Fund was established in 2006 to procure public art for Hilton Head Island. The fund commissioned its first piece in 2010; the bronze statue of Charles Fraser with an alligator was donated to the town and installed in Compass Rose Park. In 2011, the Public Art Fund hosted the first exhibition, and the event has been held every other year except 2017, when Hurricane Matthew caused a one-year postponement.
At each exhibition, one piece is selected by a jury of local artists, community leaders and a curatorial consultant. The Public Art Fund purchases the sculpture and donates it to the town’s growing collection, which currently includes 10 pieces.
There are several ways to enjoy THE 2018 PUBLIC ART EXHIBITION, on display through Jan. 31:
- Through December, vote for the People’s Choice Award at the exhibition, online at hhipublicart.org or on the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry’s Facebook page.
- Post photos in the #ARTFORALL Facebook Photo Contest until Dec. 31.
- Take a docent-led tours at 1 p.m. Fridays. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 5-12.
- Download the Otocast app to see a map of the sculptures and hear the artists talk about their works.
For more information, go to www.hhipublicart.org