‘Perigee’ captures Best in Show in Salisbury Sculpture Show

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 12, 2019

For the Salisbury Post

SALISBURY — “Perigee” by Greensboro sculptor Dane Winkler won Best in Show in the 2018 Salisbury Sculpture Show, “Discover What’s Outside.”

Second place went to Jeff Kiefer’s “Beacon.” Richard Pitts captured third place with “Dancing Down the Staircase.”

Honorable mention was awarded to Dana Gingras’ “Tinker Toy.”

This is the 10th year the Salisbury Public Art Committee has hosted the nine-month sculpture show, with 16 art pieces enlivening downtown, four on college campuses and three displayed across the county.

The show’s last official day is Friday. Brochures are available at the Visitors’ Center, City Hall, Rowan Public Library, and many downtown restaurants and shops.

The Public Art Committee says the 2019 show is scheduled for installation in early April.

The judge for the 2018 show was Brandon Guthrie, an art instructor and chairman of the fine and performing arts department at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington.

Guthrie provided a recap of the winning entries:

“‘Perigee’ is firmly anchored to the earth, with a shaft extending from a fixed pivotal point with a moveable wheel that scribes its orbit in the form of a circular depression on the ground. Interactive sculptures can be intimidating for some people, but by definition, public sculpture should be enjoyed by the public.

“‘Perigee’ offers an experience beyond just the visual. When moving the wheel, one can’t help but conjure mental images of industry which also leave a mark on the Earth, but also the movements of our solar system and the magnitude of forces that are at play in that system of orbits.

“‘Perigee’ is a thought-provoking sculpture that leaves itself open for interpretation while serving as a catalyst for dialogue which is important to any work of art.”

“‘Beacon’ is perched on a grassy hill between two buildings on Catawba College’s campus with a background of trees in the distance. It is perfectly suited for the landscape and would be best served to continue its existence in a natural setting.

“The cast-iron elements on top are reminiscent of a rusty crab pot or some other cage-like object but could also call attention to the industrial roots of any region. Like many relics of human endeavors, ‘Beacon’ could be a nod to the past or perhaps an omen for the future.

“It is familiar, yet foreign and that dynamic makes ‘Beacon’ engaging and approachable at the same time.

“‘Dancing Down the Staircase’ is a departure from the straight lines and architectural weight of the downtown area. It seems to represent weightlessness and motion and visually calls upon some of the aesthetic and philosophical ideas of futurism, borrowing specifically from Duchamp’s ‘Nude Descending a Staircase,’ where the visual record of motion is of utmost importance.

“The bright red sculpture is set against the waxy green of a magnolia, perhaps leading to the sculpture’s presence and calling to mind that location can make or break any work of art.

“‘Tinker Toy’ establishes itself as an unsuspected element in an interior courtyard environment. It’s a welcome burst of color and weight which demands attention from onlookers while also changing the relationship that each audience would have to the courtyard itself.

“The dynamic is really a matter of scale. The title suggests that this is somehow a gigantic version of a childhood plaything, and the fact that it drums up more questions than answers makes it successful in my opinion.”

“Perigee” is located on the Salisbury Station grounds near Depot and East Council streets. “Beacon” sits in the lawn outside the science building at Catawba College.

“Dancing Down the Staircase” stands in Magnolia Park at 126 W. Innes St., and “Tinker Toy” is on the campus of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Guthrie has bachelor’s degrees in anthropology and studio art from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a master of fine arts degree from Western Carolina University.

He is an artist, musician and curator of contemporary art when he’s not teaching or involved in the administration of college transfer curriculum and programs.