The biennial outdoor exhibition and competition Sculpture For All – SFA – will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.
Sculpture for All is a joint partnership project that brings together faculty, staff and students from the SFA School of Art and the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture's SFA Gardens. It features the works of 10 artists selected from a pool of hundreds of sculptors from across the nation who submit their work to the competition.
Several of the participating artists will attend the opening reception to answer questions and take part in guided tours throughout the gardens. Juror Dewane Hughes, professor of sculpture at The University of Texas at Tyler and president of the Texas Sculpture Group, will announce the winners during Saturday’s event.
"I am honored to be part of this round of Sculpture For All,” Hughes said. “It is a great national exhibition filled with work from extremely talented sculptors."
"This exhibition offers something for everyone,” said Jeff “Jeffie” Brewer, assistant professor in the SFA School of Art and organizer of Sculpture For All. “Dewane Hughes did a great job selecting a wide variety of work varying from whimsical to serious, and everything in between.
“It has been fascinating to watch spectators in the garden as they discover the new sculptures,” he added. “Joe Barrington's ‘Message for Mankind’ has really been a crowd favorite so far. People will come to the arboretum with what appears to be the sole purpose of taking a selfie with this piece – a large skull with a raven perched on top. It's pretty awesome!”
Since the first SFA–Sculpture For All exhibition in 2014, thousands of visitors have enjoyed a wide variety of sculptures nestled throughout the SFA Gardens, including the Mast Arboretum and Mize Azalea Garden on the university campus. Dozens of groups, classes and civic organizations representing all ages have been led on educational tours throughout the exhibit. Sculpture For All brings national recognition and publicity to SFA, helping to build brand awareness for the school, as well as aiding in recruiting both students and faculty members.
“Watching people actively pursuing and interacting with public art makes all the work worthwhile,” Brewer said.
The collaborative project’s ongoing fundraising goal of $20,000 allows for the continuation of the outdoor exhibition, providing funds for the sculpture installation, stipends, prizes, insurance, promotions, catalogs and other necessary expenses for the 24-month exhibition period. Donations can be made at: https://www.sculptureforall.
“Thanks to all of our generous donors and amazing partners, Sculpture For All continues to be a huge success,” Brewer said. “It could not happen without this support. With community involvement, art will continue to bloom throughout the SFA Gardens.”
For more information on Sculpture For All 2017-2019, visit www.sculptureforall.com.