New 2023-2024 Sculptures Appear Around Downtown (And Other Places)

Tree Colony by Richard Herzog, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
The Music Box by Richard Morgan, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023

Last month Dogwood Arts installed the 2023-2024 Art In Public Places Sculpture Exhibition, which includes over two-dozen sculptures created by a wide range of American artists. The sculptures rotate out each year to be replaced by a new group displayed primarily downtown, extending to a few spots out of downtown and as far afield as Oak Ridge and Alcoa. The sculptures are all for sale and prices, as well as links to artist webpages may be found at the link above.

In the sixteen years of the existence of the program, over 290 sculptures have been installed by Dogwood Arts to add beauty and interest to streetscapes. It’s easy to see the result simply by watching tourists and locals engage the artworks in Krutch Park. Jurors for this year’s exhibition include Andrea Bailey (Aslan Foundation, Knoxville Public Art Committee) and Desmond Lewis (Artist, Sculpture Lecturer at Yale University).

Twirling by Richard Pitts, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Tree Colony by Richard Herzog, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Tangent Circles by Mary Ruden, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Something Out of Nothing by Ben Pierce, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023

The selected sculptors for this year represent thirteen different states. Included are Luke Atcherberg, Matt Amanta, Steve Buduo, Jose Calabres, Brian Ferriby, Mike Hansel, Richard Herzog, Hanna Jubran, Ray Katz, Harry McDaniel, Richard Morgan, Ben Pierce, Charles Pilkey, Richard Pitts, Mary Ruden, Howard Russo, Kirk Seese, David Skora, Eric Stephenson, Kevin Vanek, Susan Woodford, Chris Wubbena, and one TBD.

The works pictured here are found predominantly in Krutch Park. While some of the works resemble the styles that have dominated recent years, I found this year’s installments to be one of the most interesting in some years. I appreciate works that engage me for more than a passing moment, that offer small surprises on closer inspection, and that have the power to make me react in some way. Several of this year’s group hit that mark for me. Do they do the same for you?

Shift by Eric Stephenson, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Night in the Forest by Gregory Smith, Kruth Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Listen by Chris Wubbena, Emory Place, Knoxville, July 2023
Listen by Chris Wubbena, Emory Place, Knoxville, July 2023

At the main entrance to Krutch Park, one of the pieces that fits the bill and will draw me back for further inspection, is “The Music Box,” pictured above. From a distance I wasn’t excited. Clearly a box of some sort, not colorful, and certainly not beautiful, it seemed a bit confounding. As I drew closer and recognized the inner components of pianos, I became more interested. Upon later learning the name of the sculpture, I want to go back and take a deeper dive.

Incipient by Luke Achterberg, Krutch Park, Knoxville, July 2023
Collusion by Mike Hansel, Emory Place, Knoxville, July 2023

I found Tree Colony particularly interesting and I’m still puzzling a bit over the statement made by “Listen,” Located at Emory Place. I included two photographs of it here, as it is one of several sculptures in this collection that a single photograph doesn’t tell the story. In this case even the two didn’t cover all the parts.

I’ll stop with these photographs for today and we’ll look at others tomorrow. I’ll be curious to know what you think.