New outdoor sculptures installed along North 1st railroad


News release from Abilene Cultural Affairs Council:

ABILENE, Texas – Every other year in September, the landscape along the North 1st railroad tracks changes with the addition of new contemporary art.

The biennial Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is celebrating 40 years of bringing contemporary outdoor sculpture to Abilene made by award-winning Texas artists. The exhibition is the longest-running community organized exhibition in Texas.

The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council’s Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition Committee organized the exhibition in partnership with the City of Abilene Community Services Department, McMurry University and the Center for Contemporary Arts. This year’s sculptures and their artists are:

– “Messenger: Which Way Blows the Wind?” by Joe Barrington. An artist from Throckmorton, Barrington is known throughout the Southwest for his public art pieces. He founded the Bone Yard Art Park in Throckmorton in 2005. His images are drawn from a lifetime of living in rural West Texas.

– “Plagued” by Carter Ernst. A Houston artist and teacher, Ernst often collaborates with her husband, artist Paul Kittelson. They live in an artist community called “Itchy Acres.” Her public art pieces have been featured at zoos, airports, schools and parks. Her media is diverse and ranges from steel to ceramics.

– “Milestone” by Tim Glover. Glover maintains a studio practice in Houston and lives in the “Itchy Acres” artist community, which inspires his work. He has received the Pollack-Krasner Award and was recognized as a Distinguished Teacher by the U.S. Department of Education’s Presidential Scholars Program. Tim was originally planning to display the sculpture “Queen” but will be exhibiting “Milestone” in Abilene instead.

– “Carousel” by Paul Kittelson. For more than 25 years, Paul has created site-specific works and community-based projects. Several of his large-scale installations have become Houston landmarks. He serves on the faculty of the University of Houston’s School of art. In 2003, he was AIA Houston Artist of the Year.

The sculptures will be on exhibit along North 1st Street (between Beech and Grape streets) for two years. To celebrate the creators of the outdoor sculptures, as well as exhibits opening at McMurry and the Center, receptions open to the public will take place for three exhibits:

SATURDAY, Sept. 19

5-6 p.m. “The Third Karma” exhibit by LaGina Fairbetter, McMurry University’s Amy Graves Ryan Fine Arts Center, East Foyer, 1642 Sayles Blvd.

Fairbetter is an Abilene native who instructed art and architecture students at Texas Tech University from 1996 to 2019. Her work was included in The Grace Museum’s “Dinosaurs of Texas Exhibit,” and she created the world’s largest indoor windmill mural, “Legacy of the Wind,” at the American Windmill Museum in Lubbock. Her current work is highlighted in the “Changing World” space at the Museum of Texas Tech University.

6-7:30 p.m. Opening reception for Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition featuring artists Joe Barrington, Carter Ernst, Tim Glover and Paul Kittelson at the Center for Contemporary Arts, 220 Cypress St.

6-7:30 p.m. “Centra Devolved” exhibit by Kevin Stanford, Center for Contemporary Arts.

Stanford is an Eldorado artist and blacksmith who has a passion for non-traditional shapes forged in steel. He uses techniques that are thousands of years old to manipulate

pieces of metal into pieces of art. He was the San Angelo Art Club’s 2019 and 2017 Artist of the Year.

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