Sculptors’ group to have workshop in Baldwin City
Baldwin City residents will soon be asked how the community should be represented in limestone.
Last month in response to a request from Lumberyard Arts Center Board of Directors President Tony Brown, the Baldwin City Council approved an appropriation of up to $10,000 for the Kansas Sculptors Association to conduct a workshop in the community. The money will pay for the food and lodging of the out-of-town sculptors and for the stone they will use at the workshop and to carve a work of public art for the community.
As part of that process, community members will be asked to submit ideas for the sculpture’s subject and where the limestone work should be displayed, said Don Nieto, president of the Kansas Sculptors Association.
“It’ll be pretty massive,” he said. “We’re wanting to invite middle school and high school groups to submit ideas. Our members will develop ideas, too. When we get something, we’ll submit it to the city council. It will be their decision.”
Sandy Cardens, Lumberyard Arts Center secretary, said she would soon distribute fliers asking for ideas for the sculpture.
Once a design is chosen, the plan is for the association’s sculptors to work on the piece for presentation at or shortly before this year’s Maple Leaf Festival, Nieto said.
Although details of time and place have not yet been worked out, the association will also have a workshop in Baldwin City in which members will work on statues and instructors will provide tips and guidance to new sculptors, Nieto said. The workshops, which have drawn as many as 100 participants, are intended to build interest in sculpture and attract new artists to the medium, he said.
“We want people to come and learn how to carve,” he said. “We’ll have several instructors there and all the members carving will help beginners.
“We want to invite students for colleges around here, KU and Haskell in Lawrence and from Baker. We’ve already received a commitment from students at Cloud County Community College.”
The workshop will be free to children, but there will be a $5 fee for college students and adults, which will buy participants a yearlong membership in the association, Nieto said. Tools and stones will be provided, he said.
The association has had similar workshops in a number of Kansas cities. Among the works association members completed for those cities are Stonehenge-like columns of prominent local residents in Emporia, a buffalo in Hays, a pioneer family in Oberlin, a railroad-themed work in Atchison and a piece named “Flight” in Wichita.
“That’s part of our goal, to leave something people in the community will say, ‘Hey we have something we wanted that stands out,’” Nieto said.