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Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition

Annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition - now through Summer 2018

The North Georgia Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is a regional juried exhibition presented annually by the Department of Visual Arts (DoVA) at the University of North Georgia. Sculptors who were either born in or are currently residing in one of the thirteen Appalachian states submit images of up to three sculptures for consideration, and the juried competition results in the selection of the works included in this exhibition.

Selected sculptures are installed for viewing in public, outdoor locations on the Cumming, Dahlonega, Gainesville, and Oconee campuses for a period of one or more years. The exhibition is free and open to the public, with self-guided walking tours available on each campus. Large groups should arrange visits in advance—guided tours may be available.

For more information, call the Department of Visual Arts: 706-867-2832

Christian Benefiel

Christian is an assistant professor and Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture coordinator at Shepherd University where he initiated and manages the campus collection of Public Sculpture. Christian is inspired by the systematic structure in which culture, interpersonal relationship and civilization is based. Aesthetically he is rooted in the maritime, contemporary craft and the constructed landscape. Christian is a US Fulbright Scholar an inaugural Hamiltonian Fellow, and has done community projects with the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, The Mariners Museum in Norfolk VA, Jackson County Green Energy Park in Sylva NC, and has had numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and in the Baltimore and Washington Area. 

— “Causality describes the relationship between direct and indirect factors of desired effect. The way in which materials, people and elements interact, react and depend on one another is the string that ties my work together. I am interested in the action that separates hope from optimism, in materializing expression and effort. The work is suggesting a playful purpose, an intentional nonsense and a methodical balance between tedium, activity and entertainment. The manufacturer, the distributor, and the consumer feel disconnected from one another and the product. The works touch on themes consumer culture, occupation of space and resource, and individual perception of value. While subtle and surface, the distillation of these concepts is ultimately a way of understanding the interconnected way that I am part of a larger whole, and how my decisions and action affect that system.” Website: christianbenefiel.comnew window
Christian Bale Sculpture Titled Offering Some Kind of Reward on the Gainesville Campus
Offering Some Kind of Reward Gainesville Campus - In front of Hugh Mills Building

Bob Doster

A South Carolina native, Bob Doster has owned and operated his studio and gallery, Backstreet Studios, located in Lancaster, South Carolina, since 1975. His monumental sculptures and functional artwork can be seen in galleries, museums, private collections and in public displays from the corporate collections of Saks Fifth Avenue and Founders Federal Credit Union to the State Art Collection of the SC Arts Commission.

— “Art is conversation between the eyes and the soul….my creations arise from my visual memories as they are experienced in my whole being. My hope is that the viewer will walk away with memories of their own experiences.” Website:

Bob Doster Sculpture Untitled  on the Gainesville Campus
Untitled Oconee Campus behind Student Resource Center
july wind sculpture by doster
July Wind Dahlonega Campus in front of LTC
Bob Doster Sculpture Titled Rising Star viewable on the Gainesville Campus
Rising Star Cumming Campus in front of Academic Building

Don Dougan

Don Dougan

Don was born in Portland, Oregon, moved to Atlanta in 1967, and opened his current Marietta studio in 1978. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Atlanta College of Art. He has taught as a visiting sculpture professor for the University of Georgia Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy in 1993, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2005, and was an artist-in-residence there in 1991 and 1997. From 1995-2016 he has taught as an instructor of 3D Design & Sculpture at GSU Perimeter College. He has also taught Sculpture at the Atlanta College of Art from 1986-2006, and was a visiting sculpture professor at South Karelia Polytechnic in Imatra, Finland in 2004 and 2005. Don also taught 3Design & Sculpture at the University of North Georgia (formerly Gainesville College) in 1999.

— “I work primarily in stone, though bronze, glass, ceramic, wood, found objects and mixed media are often used with the stone to contrast and create dialogs in the materials. In most of my work the first principle is to approach the specific material at hand. I react to the inherent qualities of the material — such as size, shape, color and textures — and strive to refine those elements into something physically meaningful. This develops intuitively with very little conscious attempt to create logical or rational content except for revealing the implications that are embodied in the materials. As working time passes and the piece grows my perceptions begin to perceive nuances and evidence of character emerges through the physical parameters in my hands. The title of the work is almost always the last stage of the making procedure. Finding the right title is when I discover the elusive meaning I was working towards through the intuitive process. Often these titles reveal aspects of archetypical characters from stories or mythology as well as from history or the arts. I view the title as a key to the door into the viewer’s perceptions.” Website:

Outdoor sculpture Prometheus by Don Dougan may be view on the Gainesville campus
Untitled Gainesville Campus in front of Student Center

Tom Holmes

Tom Holmes

Tom Holmes was educated in New York, and lives in Greeley, Pennsylvania. He is an artist, musician, and sculptor. He has been self-employed exploring his art since his mid-twenties. He works in stone, metal, wood, light, ice, and water.

— “I am drawn to working in the six elements of stone, metal, wood, light, ice, and water. It gives me the ability to work intuitively. All possibilities can exist briefly before I impose parameters to my emotional and intellectual contexts. The undercurrents of natural decay, unity, duality, symmetry, space, time and dimension are at the heart of my creative energy. Process, for me, is the essence of my art.” Website:

Outdoor sculpture Winged Migration by Tom Holmes may be view on the Gainesville Campus
Winged Migration Dahlonega Campus behind Hansford Hall
Outdoor sculpture Chthonic Void by Tom Holmes may be view on the Dahlonega Campus
Chthonic Void Dahlonega Campus across from Hoag Auditorium on College Circle

Scott Lacey

Scott Lacey

Scott Lacey is a sculptor who lives and works in Dahlonega, Georgia. “Inherent throughout my work is a concept I call “organic geometry.” For me, this is the confluence of flat surfaces, geometric shapes and curved faces that are arranged to present challenging associations. Look for the interaction of line, shape, movement and form, with the metaphors of relationships such as family, growth, and nature. My work blends a lifetime of experience in the natural world with the multifaceted bonds of today’s families. I find my inspiration in physics, science, math, and the natural environment.

In my design, I am looking for a combination of shapes to create an overall image of unity or tension, as well as shapes that balance or complement each other. I begin with many drawings and through the process; forms emerge, which I further develop into three-dimensional objects. I have been working with these forms and ideas for several years. Each piece informs the next through process, design, and production. I want my designs to pose a challenge to the viewer to imagine further, to analyze the standards of our world and accept that there are more solutions yet to be discovered. Enjoy art, become enriched, and remember, ‘art takes time, and time is recorded through art.’”

untitled sculpture by scott lacey on the dahlonega campus
Untitled Dahlonega Campus behind Barnes Hall
untitled sculpture by scott lacey on the gainesville campus
Untitled Gainesville Campus in front of Nesbitt Building

Damon Lusky

Damon Lusky

Damon Lusky lives in Dawsonville, Georgia, where he operates Studio 308. He began his journey in metal arts more than a decade ago. His evolution as a metal artist first began as a self taught practical welder and blacksmith. Over the years he has broadened his range to include participation in local art shows, one man exhibits as well as showcases at local galleries, businesses and residential settings.

— “A passion for metal, a love of organic shapes and textures inspire my use of metal as a medium.  Guided by the nature around me, seeing each piece evolve, following the bends, curves and lines of the metal, sometimes manipulating the color myself, other times allowing nature to patina the color for me, make each piece one of  kind. I enjoy working on both a large and small scale with a myriad of materials and finishes. Designing many pieces myself bringing to life the ideas of others at times has become a life long passion.” Website:

Outdoor sculpture Predator by Damon Lusky may be view on the Dahlonega Campus
Predator Dahlonega Campus in front of HNS

Andi Steele

Andi Steele

Andi Steele received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina in 1994 and her Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Georgia in 2004. Between degrees, Steele spent six years at the Penland School of Crafts, participating in the Core Fellowship Program from 1998-99. In her work, Steele seeks to bring attention to our surrounding environment; what already exists, how we interact with it, how it can be changed. She uses linear elements to create sculptures that shift how we perceive the forms and space around us. She exhibits her work nationally. Steele currently lives in Wilmington, North Carolina where she is an assistant professor of sculpture at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

— “The lines of Through both divide and encompass space. They frame different areas of the surrounding environment but also create new spaces within the sculpture. The diminishing sizes of the forms emphasize the interior space, inviting the viewer into the form. The interior and exterior become interchangeable, challenging spatial perception.” Website:

Outdoor sculpture Through by Andi Steele may be view on the Gainesville Campus
Through Oconee Campus in front of Classroom Building

Wesley Stewart

Wesley Stewart

Wesley L. Stewart is primarily a sculptor, but creates art across many disciplines including, but not limited to, drawing and painting. His work encompasses both linear and planar aspects, incorporating color to accentuate specific areas of the work or to the surrounding area where it is placed. Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, his interest in sculpture began when working for the family business – Stewart Sheet Metal. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Augusta State University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southern University.

— “The metal sculptures I create are three-dimensional drawings. I draw and doodle constantly in my sketchbook, making subtle changes with each new page. These countless drawings express various gestures, shapes, and linear qualities that will relate to how I intuitively fabricate. I call this process “Drawing in Space.” Inspired by street art and video games, my work contains similar qualities that are shown through the combination of strong line, gestural energy and layers of bold colors on planar shapes.” Website:

creature 3 sculpture by wesley stewart
Creature 3 Dahlonega Campus in front of Hansford Hall
untitled wesley stewart sculpture
Untitled Gainesville Campus in front of Library

Kyle Van Lusk

Kyle Van Lusk

Born in the mountains of North Carolina, sculptor Kyle Van Lusk has been inspired by the balance of beauty and strength in the Blue Ridge Mountains since childhood. Lusk continues to create sculpture that manifests this relationship and his affinity for process and materials. Raised in a small community near Brevard, NC, Lusk was encouraged by his parents from an early age to engage in the study of art. His first formal study was at Brevard College, then earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1995 from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Renowned for its excellent sculpture program, East Carolina University was also where Lusk chose to study as a graduate, earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture in 1998. Since completion of his graduate work, Lusk has created and displayed work in several juried public sculpture exhibitions. He also has works in many permanent collections and on loan to college campuses throughout North Carolina. Kyle has taught art at Appalachian State University and currently is Assistant Professor of Art at Brevard College in Brevard, NC. With his wife Heidi, children Declan, Julia, and Ian, Lusk currently resides and maintains his studio in Brevard.

— “I strive to create work that is engaging and original. I primarily work non-objectively so that my intention is to not directly represent an object or individual from life. I do, however, often use proportions and forms from the real world as inspiration. I believe that sculpture should be exciting and new to the viewer and yet still contain an element of familiarity. My hope is that upon experiencing my work the viewer has the feeling of being shown something they have never seen before yet they still feel strong, indefinable and compelling connection.” Website:

Outdoor sculpture Divided by Kyle Van Lusk may be view on the Dahlonega Campus
Divided Dahlonega Campus in front of Barnes Hall

Joni Younkins-Herzog

Joni Younkins-Herzog   

Joni grew up in the suburban sprawl outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at The University of Georgia in Athens. Her work has been featured in exhibitions across the country, including New York, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, the “Art Prize” in Grand Rapids, Michigan; internationally in Pabianice, Poland; Cajabamba, Peru, and recently in Sang Arts Village, Ghana, Africa. She lives in Sarasota, Florida.

—"My search for beauty and purpose manifests into forms that abstract femininity and vitality. Reshaping the body reflects a delight in making allegory; combined with grafting elements onto the human form demonstrating my curiosity about science, medicine and the search for human perfection. My sculptures are hybrids, psychological mythologies, and manifestations of our bodies— simultaneously grotesque, absurd and sometimes funny. Within my work the human body is displaced retaining ranges of recognizable features-but what remains behind is an interest in the dispersal and fertilization of the feminine mystique.”


blossom sculpture by joni younkins-herzog
Blossom Dahlonega Campus in front of Nix Building

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