After COVID-19 pause, Art Around the Corner brings sculptures to downtown St. George

ST. GEORGE — After pausing their annual sculpture gallery in downtown St. George, Art Around the Corner Foundation is back. They’ve installed 31 sculptures around the arts district this year. Though the number of participants is down, Marianne Hamilton couldn’t be more exited.

Marianne Hamilton sits with Think Green, a sculpture by Richard Prazen, in Town Square, St. George, Utah, March 31, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

“Our goal is to use art to enhance the quality of life in St. George,” Hamilton, chair of the Art Around the Corner Board, told St. George News. “We’ve got work from artists from all around the country.”

Though the installation phase usually takes one week to complete, Hamilton said that they wanted to take precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19. In lieu of this, she said they have been at work for about three weeks. Wednesday was the first day all the pieces were on display, and since then, they’ve already sold a piece.

“We sold Great Blue to a private collector this morning,” Hamilton said of a sculpture of a great blue heron. “I called the artist to share the good news, and he was thrilled.”

The new exhibit includes works by several local artists. Desert Rat, by Matt Clark, is made of re-purposed farm equipment.

Desert Rat, by Matt Clark in Town Square, St. George, Utah, March 31, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

“The artist suffered a serious injury when he was 17,” Hamilton said. “He uses discarded material because he feels like society has discarded him.”

Gary Lee Price, who lives in Springville, made Harriet Tubman, a bronze sculpture that celebrates what Price calls her “indomitable spirit.”

“I sculpted Harriet Tubman in one of her rare moments of repose, in order for you to converse with her on the topics of bravery and courage,” Price says on his website. “I sculpted her with a pistol, as she was absolutely resolved to not let even her own family cower and rescind back into captivity and domination, as they fled their captors. She was determined that all people deserve respect and honor and most importantly FREEDOM – the freedom to create their own manifest destiny – not that of others!”

St. George Mayor Michele Randall said she looks forward to each year’s collection. Though there were many she admires, Randall said that Harriet Tubman is one of her favorites.

Harriette Tubman, by Gary Lee Price, in Town Square, St. George, Utah, March 31, 2021 | Photo by David Dudley, St. George News

“The Harriet Tubman sculpture gives me chills,” Randall told St. George News. “She was such an amazing, courageous woman. She set a course of bravery and determination to fight for what you believe in.”

COVID-19 wasn’t the only snag Arts Around the Corner hit during the past couple of years. Hamilton said that some of the sculptures were vandalized.

“But that’s stopped, thankfully,” she said. “We put in little signs on each pedestal, and we included a number to call in case anybody sees anything. And, members of our board visit the sculptures regularly.”

This year, Hamilton said, they’re adding an online auction for smaller works by the same artists.

“Other than 25%, all revenue goes to the artists,” Hamilton said. “That 25% helps us to keep the lights on, to keep providing opportunities to artists and to keep bringing art to the citizens of St. George.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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