This month, the Kemp Center for the Arts in Wichita Falls is hosting its 19th Annual Sculpture Garden Party, during which the 2023-2024 Sculpture Garden exhibition will debut.
Founded in 1994, the Arts Council of Wichita Falls maintains two historic buildings, including the Kemp Center for the Arts. The center is situated in the former Kemp Public Library and has an outdoor sculpture garden, which is home to 11 permanent pieces. Each year, the sculpture garden presents a temporary exhibition; this year, ten works have been selected by juror Chad Plunket, who serves as the director for the Charles Adams Studio Projects (CASP) in Lubbock, and teaches in the Texas Tech University Huckabee College of Architecture.
Mr. Plunket told Glasstire, “I love outdoor sculpture and I applaud the Kemp Art Center for their dedication to exhibiting it, as the size and weight of the work can pose logistical challenges. When I was reviewing the applicant pool, I was drawn to work that has the potential to surprise/inform the viewer as it is approached. The ability for the work to change as we engage with it is the foundational reason I am drawn to outdoor sculpture. I hope everyone can come see the show during the opening and enjoy talking to the artists, me, and partaking in some free snacks, but I also encourage viewers to return throughout the year and experience the work during different seasons and times of day, as the sculptures will change within their environment.”
Selected artists include Ellis Barber, Steven Buduo, Danville Chadbourne, B.C. Gilbert, Chad Hines, Suguru Hiraide, Dewane Hughes, Seward Johnson, Jenn Peek, and Jim Robertson. Pieces will be displayed for a full 12 months on the grounds of the Kemp, and are on view free of charge to the public during the center’s open hours (Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM; Saturdays, 10 AM to 4 PM; open late Thursdays until 8 PM). Visitors are encouraged to download the Otocast app, through which a GPS-activated audio tour of the grounds will be available.
This season’s works will debut at the 19th Annual Garden Party on Saturday, May 13, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM. During the event, attendees will have the opportunity to meet the exhibiting artists and enjoy refreshments and cocktails. The event is free and registration is not required. During the opening weekend, Mr. Plunket will announce the first, second, and third place awards for the exhibition.
To learn more about the Kemp Center for the Arts and its programming, visit the Arts Council of Wichita Falls’ website.