Take something destined for the trash and turn it into art. That was the challenge put forth earlier this year when the Averitt Center for the Arts sent out a call for a new public sculpture.
The result, entitled “Plow Permutations,” is the work of two Georgia Southern Masters of Fine Arts students and it was unveiled at the Georgia Southern Botanical Garden Friday. Garden Director Carolyn Altman said the piece would be on permanent display near the entryway to the south woodlands trail.
While the artists were allowed free creativity in their designs, they were limited to using recycled or repurposed materials for the entire sculpture.
Ian Winsemius, a transplant from Connecticut, said he was inspired by the shapes of the harrow blades used by farmers to break up the soil and he has used them to create a very geometric sculpture which stands around 10-feet. All of the blades in the sculpture have been used on farms around the Statesboro area.
Jason McCoy, who has been working his way across the country from California for the last 10 years, said he was inspired to create a series of bells from used compressed air canisters.
Outfitted with wind catchers underneath, the bells are made to ring in the wind or when patrons touch them.
“I’ve always been interested in sculptures that have some type of interactive quality,” McCoy said.
The canisters were all obtained from local industries.
“We were both committed to using materials from the local area,” Winsemius said. “We felt we were reclaiming part of the agricultural and industrial history that is Bulloch County.”
“Originally the artists submitted their proposals separately, but when the jurors saw both pieces, they thought would work well together and asked the artists to collaborate,” said Melinda Roell, development consultant for the Averitt Center.
The sculpture is one component of a grant obtained through the National Endowment for the Arts by the Averitt Center in partnership with the GSU Center for Sustainability, Keep Bulloch Beautiful and the Botanical Garden. The grant also helped bring a display by Greg Mort, one of America’s foremost contemporary artists to the Averitt Center.
On display in first floor gallery through April 29, Mort’s The Art of Stewardship encourages stewardship of the earth and environmental awareness through the visual arts.