ST. GEORGE – Towering 16 feet over the roundabout at Main Street and Tabernacle Street and staring down at motorists and passersby alike is a giant metal spider.
No, Halloween hasn’t come early. Instead, the appearance of the aptly named “Giant Spider” sculpture is a sign that a new season of the annual Art Around the Corner outdoor art show has commenced in downtown St. George.
Sculpted by artist Deveren Farley, the giant metal spider is one of 24 new sculptures of various types and sizes featured in the Town Square and along Main Street between 100 South and 200 North. These new sculptures replace those showcased during the 2017 season.
“What it creates is an outdoor art gallery for the citizens and visitors of St. George,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said during the Art Around the Corner Gala Friday night. The gala serves as a kickoff to the event that officially starts Saturday and generally runs March to March.
The city of St. George partners with the nonprofit Art Around the Corner Foundation to bring in sculptures year after year as a way to help keep the downtown vibrant and attractive. It also provides artists locally and from across Utah and out of state a place to show their work to the public eye.
“When you’re an artist, part of what you love about art is sharing it,” sculptor Richard Prazen said, “and that’s what this city does.”
A newcomer to Art Around the Corner this year, Prazen’s entry is “Jules Vern II,” a steampunk fantasy inspired piece of welded metal work that resembles a sailing ship held aloft by a blimp with propellers attached. The piece works and spins like a weather vane, Prazen said.
Pieces like Prazen’s “Jules Vern II” and Farley’s “Giant Spider” are examples of the more whimsical ones on display. Similar pieces include “Journey’s of the Imagination Girl” by Gary Lee Price and “Widow Maker” by the late Tim Little.
There are more traditional works as well, such as bronze sculptures depicting the human form in certain poses and actions, one being L’Deane Trueblood’s “Sandy with Rascal,” as well as compositions of geometric shapes, for example Joshua Toone’s “0408.”
The pieces of art brought to the show this year are as varied and unique as the artists themselves, foundation chair Susan Jarvis said.
“I’d encourage everyone to come and look at (the art) and see what they like and what they don’t,” she said, “and consider what they’d like to see next time – just let your imagination go and enjoy it.”
Some people will like some of the pieces featured by Art Around the Corner; others, not so much, Pike said. Either way, he said, it’ll stir a reaction from those that see it and that’s a good thing.
“That’s what art does – it gets people talking and it makes our downtown more vibrant.”
While larger pieces like the “Giant Spider” will be featured in prominent areas like the Main Street-Tabernacle roundabout, others are set on pedestals sprinkled across the Town Square and that area of Main Street.
Many of the sculptures featured in Art Around the Corner are for sale, with both public and private parties purchasing sculptures.
“We sell pieces every year,” Jarvis said.
At the end of the 2017 season, the city of St. George announced it had bought a handful of of pieces for both indoor and outdoor display.
“I’m excited to approve these purchases because it’s a thrill to have these artists come and return for a number of years …,” the mayor said, “(artists) whose work we can now feature in our permanent collections.”
Area residents and visitors will be able to see the sculptures featured in this year’s show on display beginning Saturday morning.
- Art Around the Corner website previews the exhibit.
- Art Around the Corner exhibit map webpage with map pins popping a brief including names of the piece and artist, price tag and sponsor.
- 2018 Art Around the Corner gala booklet with photos of each exhibit piece and short biographies of the artists behind the work. A map of sculpture locations is also included at the end of this booklet.
Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.
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