ROSWELL, Ga. — The fourth annual 2019 ArtAround Sculpture Tour has begun.
On April 18, dozens of Roswell Arts Fund members joined city staff and officials on the grounds of City Hall to usher in the new season. Everyone gathered at one of the new sculptures, Emergence, by Deanna Hoffman. The work is sponsored by Staff Zone.
Emergence is a steel sculpture of two curling half-moon shapes that together, almost form a circle. It’s a depiction reminiscent of leaves emerging from rocky platforms, Hoffman said, and a way to remind people of what the natural world does for everyone.
She said she loves nature and uses her art to encourage people to appreciate and care for it.
Emergence is one of nine new sculptures that now dot the city’s parks. Each year, the Roswell Arts Fund plans to buy at least one sculpture from each tour to add to the city’s permanent public arts assets. Sculptures bought from previous years include Sweet Pops of Brilliance in East Roswell Park, Oak Leaf Triptych in Roswell Area Park, Smoke in Town Square, Sentience in the Heart of Canton Street Park and Reception on Roswell Riverwalk.
These sculptures, which act as a museum without walls, help to activate communal spaces and add to the city’s quality of life, said Roswell Arts Fund Chair Don Horton.
“Arts in general are beneficial for the community,” Horton said. “It’s a quality-of-life issue. Whether it’s performing arts, visual arts, sculptures — it fosters community and culture.”
Horton said public art also helps drive local economies.
“For every one dollar invested in the arts, it comes back to a city seven times,” Horton said. “It’s a huge economic driver. When you have a sculpture tour like this, it brings people to the city. And you can’t do it in just an hour. So, you’re here for probably a lunch and later a dinner.”
The placement of the sculptures is decided by a selection committee of almost two dozen people that include artists, architects, Roswell Arts Fund board members and members of the general public. The Roswell Arts Fund is currently looking to expand the committee.
The committee considers variables, such as nearby foliage and traffic, when considering how a sculpture can be integrated into a space, said Becky Kile, marketing and outreach administrator for the Roswell Arts Fund.
The sculpture tour has become increasingly popular in the past few years, she added.
“It’s been fun to see how our social media has grown,” Kile said. “We use the hashtag #artaroundroswell, and this past week, the number of people who have stopped at Emergence and Celebration has been so fun to watch, to see people having fun.”
The 2019 Sculpture Tour is supplemented by an audio guide app called Otocast that allows visitors to learn more about each sculpture and includes artist’s comments. New this year are rain-proof placards at each sculpture that invite visitors to sign a digital guestbook.
This guestbook allows the Roswell Arts Fund to gauge traffic at each sculpture and gather people’s feedback for future sculpture tours, Horton said.
For more information about his year’s tours, including maps and instructions for Otocast, as well as to get involved with the Roswell Arts Fund, visit roswellartsfund.org.