The Hickory Public Art Commission (PAC) invites the public to attend a ribbon cutting on Wednesday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library (375 3rd St. NE) to celebrate the installation of two new sculptures in the library's reading garden.
Acquired by the PAC in 2015 from ZimSculpt, a Zimbabwean exhibit at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, both pieces have found a new home in the library reading garden. Both works are considered traditional Shona sculptures, which are African stone sculptures, hand carved by the Shona people of Zimbabwe.
An anonymous donor, who lives in Hickory and is a strong supporter of art and craft, presented Girl Studying by Jonathan Mhondorohuma as a possible donation to the Public Art Commission.
"We reviewed it and, based on our donation guidelines, felt it was a perfect fit for Hickory and a very generous contribution to our collection," said Todd Hefner, PAC Chairperson. "We see this successful arrangement as a possible blueprint for future public/private partnerships that might enhance City projects yet-to-be."
PAC was so impressed with the quality of the work and the voice that it represented, that they elected to purchase an additional piece from the same group of artisans, with PAC funds. Nature's Way by Prosper Chirodza was the selected sculpture.
"We had the opportunity to view the collection at Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens in Belmont, NC, meet the artists, and hand-select the work that best fit our budget and vision," said Hefner. "We feel the two sculptures complement each other, and are beautifully enhanced by the new landscaping. The City of Hickory Landscape Services staff did an exemplary job of creating a serene reading garden at Patrick Beaver Library. It's an inspiring space."
The Public Art Commission is one of the City's 14 advisory groups. Members are appointed by the Hickory City Council to provide a forum for integrating public art into the public space, to help create a visual sense of the community, and to provide leadership in implementing a public art program for Hickory. For information see www.HickoryNC.gov or call 323-7412.
The ZimSculpt exhibit has also been shown at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Canada, Chelsea Flower Show in London, Dow Gardens in Michigan, Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, FL, and is currently on exhibit at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Texas. More information can be found at ZimSculpt.com.