Sculpture Tours Give Sculptors and Visitors New Opportunities

Eau Claire’s 6th Annual Sculpture Tour is Under Way

Read more about this tour, and the benefits for artists, communities and visitors

Eau Claire sculpture tour Gossip by Shohini Ghosh

The ideal of a “sculpture tour” is that a community or organization can provide a large number of sculptures in their area, for a lot less money than it would cost to purchase the works out right. The works are lent by artists who receive a stipend for the work. This allows a community to have a large number of sculptures on display, creating an appealing environment for their citizens and courting visitors to their city or town.

Stipends are intended to cover the artists’ costs to transport and install the works. Exact amount provided will vary by organization, but it is an important consideration for the artist. After all, they have the expenses involved of installation and the work is typically on display for a year–and therefore unavailable for other shows or to sell elsewhere.

In addition to the stipend paid to the artists, there are generally other cash awards that are given. These may include a “best of show”, “judges’ favorite”, and/or “people’s choice”. Sculptures that are part of these art on loan programs are almost always available for purchase. In some cases the organizing body will purchase one or more works, but other works may also be purchased by local businesses or individuals–or even people who are visiting. Typically the organization will take a commission on any sales–this is one way that they help fund their next sculpture tour.

The advantage for the artist then is they can receive some money for a sculpture that is available for sale, but has not sold. They also have the potential for selling the piece. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that they have the opportunity for  more people to see their work, and perhaps buy that piece or a different one if they fall in love with an artist’s work. The artists price their work, keeping in mind that the organizers will keep a percentage. Prices will vary widely, depending on the size of the work, the complexity and style, and the artist.

One of the advantages for art lovers is the chance to see such a variety of art while enjoying the outdoors. They also can have the opportunity to see the piece several times before deciding to purchase the work. They also get the bonus of knowing that when they purchase a sculpture from a tour they are supporting both an artist and the local community.

Eau Clair sculpture tour For the Love of the Game by Bobbie Carlyle

Eau Claire is having their 6th annual sculpture tour this summer. In this “tour” they are displaying 34 sculptures in a variety of styles and media from artists across the United States and Canada.

…this year’s pieces range from $1,850 for a sculpture called “Farm Fireball” by Eva Aspilin of Audubon, Minn., to $66,000 for Loveland, Colo., artist Bobbie Carlyle’s “For the Love of the Game.” Sizes range from “quite small” to nearly 1,000 pounds.

Eau Claire’s sculpture tour purchases the sculpture that wins the People’s Choice award and donates the work to the city for its’ public art collection. Dale Lewis, a sculptor from Hastings, Minnesota, won last year for his work “Trojan Horse.” This year he is bringing a sculpture titled “Sasquatch.”

Read more about the Eau Clair sculpture tour in the original article by Eric Lindquist in the Leader Telegram.

Sculpture: Shohini Ghosh’s artwork titled “Gossip”, photo by Marisa Wojcik

Sculpture: “For the Love of the Game” by Bobbie Carlyle