By Pat Maurer
By Tuesday, ten sculptures were in place and ready for viewing on the streets of downtown Clare.
A room full of art lovers, artists, committee members and more attended a special reception at the Doherty Hotel Tuesday evening to celebrate the opening of the Destination Clare: Art Sculpture Walk and the beginning of a year-long display of the ten sculptures that will grace the main street (McEwan) of the city for visitors, patrons and residents alike to enjoy.
Those attending Tuesday’s reception filled the hotel ballroom for hors d’oeuvres and a “meet and greet” with seven of the sculpture artists who came to Clare to help position their sculptures along the downtown street.
Committee Chair Carol Santini welcomed attendees to the reception, introduced the committee members and the members of the Clare County Arts Council Advisory Board. She outlined the 18-month process to establish the sculpture tour in the City, which she said would never have happened without the idea and promotion from local artist Jeff Best and the hard work of the committee members, donations that came from 47 sponsors and the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Arts & Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Clare Community. “Our thanks go to all of them,” she said.
After the year and a half that it took to put it all together, the now open new walking tour features a wide array of art sculptures placed throughout the downtown area that were crafted by artists from all over the country.
Winners of the Janice Chapman Award and the Juried Award were announced at Tuesday’s Opening Reception.
David Riemer from Wisconsin was the winner of the Janice Chapman award with “Bait Ball,” located in front of the Doherty. David Petrekovitz from Cadillac was the Juror Award winner with “Seek Alternate Route” located at Clare Hardware, 508 N. McEwan.
Other Artists, their sculptures, and the locations are:
*Justin La Doux – “White Tail” – at Schumacher Agency, 402 N. McEwan;
*Mary Angers – “The Single Twist” – at The Uptown Lofts, 411 N. McEwan;
*Kelly O’Neill – “Time” – Edward Jones, 426 N. McEwan;
*Ian Humphres – “A Portrait of Dali” – Ray’s Bike Shop, 425 N. McEwan;
*Kirk Seese (two sculptures) – “The Feather” at Cops and Doughnuts, 521 N. McEwan and “Icosahedron” at MyMichigan Health, 703 N. McEwan;
*Clare-Gladwin CTE Educational Institution – “Hypnotic Sphere” (Instructor Phil Schafer)– at Isabella Bank, 532 N. McEwan;
*Jim Edwards – “The Bee” – White House Restaurant, 613 N. McEwan.
This is not just a summer attraction for the community, but will be an outdoor year-round interactive art sculpture display with each sculpture displaying information about the piece and a QR code that will enable the viewer to learn more about the artist and their artwork, and enable each visitor to pick their top choice for the “People’s Choice Award.”
Those who don’t want to use their phone for the interactive component, can still participate by stopping at the Clare Union Railroad Depot to pick up a brochure and vote for their favorite.
These sculptures will be in place until Spring 2023 when they will be rotated to showcase new pieces of art for another year-long event.
More amazing works of art are available throughout the City, including a beautiful Art Alley, The fabulous and unique Depression Era Walking Art Tour at the Doherty, the Post Office and the Middle School auditorium, the historic Clare Union Railroad Depot and railroad museum, the Pioneer that watches over Brookwood Athletic Complex, the Pioneer Mother in front of the Clare Middle School, and much more.
More information is available at the Clare Chamber located one block west of McEwan on Fourth Street.