Gallery's 'Sculpture on the Green' exhibit brings art outdoors

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring has arrived in Southeast Missouri, and with it comes the use of natural surroundings as a canvas for artistic development.

The Edward Bernard Gallery is holding its third annual "Sculpture on the Green" exhibit, which showcases work from area sculptors on the lawn next to the gallery.

The Edward Bernard Gallery, on West Drive in Cape Girardeau, is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. However, thanks to the "Sculpture on the Green" exhibit, anyone can enjoy the display at any time.

"This event showcases local sculptors and is a chance for people to see work by people who have a creative perspective of the world," said Paul Schock, whose sculpture "Domestic Exterior" will be featured as part of the exhibit. This metal 20 foot-by-8 foot-by-4 foot sculpture features a house, brightly colored in yellow with red polka dots. Resting on top of it is a wing chair, like a lifeguard's chair.

The opportunity to see man-made sculpture in a natural setting is great for the area, because it shows the diversity of the arts in the community, Schock said. The metal sculptures can withstand the elements, and the effects of natural lighting and shadowing brings out a different side to the artwork.

The exhibit, curated by Dr. Edwin Smith, features a variety of pieces. Some of the works are from former Southeast Missouri State University students as well as faculty. One of Smith's works, "Sunflowers at Sunset" will remain at the gallery beyond the closing of the show, if it lasts that long.

"We're going to try to sell that one," said Peg MacDougall, owner of the Edward Bernard Gallery.

The gallery features artwork from all over the country, but "Sculpture on the Green" showcases 10 local artists. MacDougall said it is a pleasure to work with these artists, and an honor to feature their work in the outdoor exhibit.

To give people a landmark and draw more attention to the exhibit, Smith, Matt Miller, an art teacher at Scott City High School, and Robert Friedrich, art teacher at Cape Girardeau Central High School, built a llama out of driftwood on the side of the street.

"As we were building it, it stopped traffic," Smith said. "And I said, 'Well, it's working.'"

The llama is at the head of the drive to the exhibit.

"This show is going to have more diversity then we've ever had before," Smith said. "In media, size and even in concept. A lot of these artists are really good at conceiving an idea to produce in sculptural form, and they do it in a variety of materials.

"Some are wood, some are metal, and some are combining wood and metal with other materials."

Inside the gallery the works of the late Dr. Jean A. Chapman, an artist and former faculty member of Southeast, are being featured.

The "Sculpture on the Green" exhibit begins with a First Friday reception today and will be on display until April 23. This outdoor event features work by Schock and Smith, as well as several other area artists. More information on the gallery and all the exhibits is available at www.edwardbernardgallery.com.

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