There are plenty of things to enjoy about the great outdoors in Iowa. But, in downtown Ames it is more than just what Mother Nature has to offer, it also includes a walking tour of works of art. Every year the Ames Public Art Commission’s Neighborhood Sculpture Program selects sculptures to display in the Main Street Cultural District (MSCD) in an effort to provide a free art exhibit to the public.
“When you combine the beauty of the all the spring flowers that are blooming on Main Street with the unique sculpture art, you have an outdoor oasis right here in downtown Ames,” said Cindy Hicks, MSCD Executive Director. “It makes shopping and dining in downtown Ames an experience like none other.”
Each of the unique sculptures has a plaque next to it that includes information about the artist and the name of the piece on display. Any artist across the state is welcome to submit up to three entries. To be considered, the work must be original, fitting for public display, free standing and secure under public access. Artists should include in their entries an image of the artwork, a biographical paragraph, a statement about the entry and an explanation of the sculpture’s installation process.
“I would say that the main purpose of the sculpture program is to make art more accessible to all members of the community,” said Mary Ann Lundy, program chair.
The current sculptures have been on display since April, but an official opening night reception will be held during the MSCD annual ArtWalk on June 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Along with the exhibition, the ArtWalk will have activities for both children and adults. These include a sidewalk chalk contest, a sip and paint event at a local wine bar, and an R&B concert.
The Main Street Cultural District sculptures are also for sale. They will remain at their locations indefinitely.