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New sculptures added for outdoor exhibition's fourth year

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This spring, the University of North Georgia's annual outdoor sculpture exhibition began anew on the Dahlonega campus with the addition of eight new sculptures, bringing the total number of works currently on display to 18.

Associate professor of art Dr. Jon Mehlferber noted that the exhibition, now in its fourth year, is beneficial to the community and the university.

"The annual sculpture exhibition provides an opportunity for students, staff, faculty, local residents, and visitors to experience contemporary art in an outdoor setting," Mehlferber said. "Outdoor public sculpture has a long tradition and was a part of everyday life in cultures such as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. By having sculpture in locations spread over our campus, more people are exposed to art."

Aside from increasing the aesthetic appeal of the UNG campus, Dr. Mehlferber also sees the exhibition as a valuable asset for the Department of Visual Arts. He said that, in a sense, this is an educational tool, not unlike a textbook.

UNG's annual sculpture exhibition is a celebration of Appalachian artwork and only features work by artists from one of the 13 states that make up the Appalachian region. Artists submit pieces to be considered for the exhibition, which are reviewed by a committee of faculty, students, administration, and members of the Dahlonega community for approval. When an artist has a sculpture accepted into the show, they are invited to Dahlonega to install the piece.

Artists who contributed new pieces to this year's show are:

  • Jim Parris, Lenoir City, Tenn.
  • Scott Lacey, Dahlonega, Ga.
  • Jim Gallucci, Greensboro, N.C.
  • Joni Younkins-Herzog, Sarasota, Fla.
  • Wesley Stewart, Statesboro, Ga.
  • Gwendolyn Kerney, Lenoir City, Tenn.

Unlike many exhibitions, all the pieces in the UNG show have been loaned to the school free of charge, with artists given only a small stipend to cover travel expenses for the installation. These minimal costs for the exhibition allow it to be fully funded by private donations to the UNG Foundation, leaving the show free and open to the public.

Because the exhibition is an annual event, new sculptures are added every year. Each work is loaned for a period of one or more years, and two of the sculptures  on campus have become part of UNG's permanent collection.

The exhibition can be seen via a self-guided walking tour, spanning much of the Dahlonega campus. Pamphlets detailing the location of and information on each sculpture are available at the UNG welcome center inside the main entrance and in the Department of Visual Arts office in Hansford Hall. For more information, contact the Department of Visual Arts at 706-867-2832.

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