News Column

Downtown Cary gets a new round of outdoor sculptures

August 1, 2014

By Taylor Wanbaugh, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Aug. 01--CARY -- Sculptor Eric Troffkin doesn't like to let life pass him by.

He takes pleasure in the little things, objects that often go unnoticed. Armed with steel and fiberglass, he twists and welds his sculptures into living, breathing works of art.

"I'm interested in things we see frequently, but things we don't think about a lot," Troffkin said, "I see these things everywhere, and now you will too."

Troffkin, who lives in Detroit, is one of 12 artists whose sculptures will be on display in downtown Cary for the next year as part of Cary Visual Art's annual Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.

Cary Visual Art received 48 entries from artists across the country. Ten winners were chosen by this year's juror, Renee Piechocki, director of Pittsburgh'sOffice of Public Art. A former Chapel Hill resident, she is familiar with the Triangle's arts scene.

"I wanted to create a balanced exhibition," she said. "I have a passion for finding ways to help artists and the community connect. ... I'm looking for excellence and craftsmanship and new and innovative ways of using material."

The 12 sculptors hail from six states, said Mary Davis Wallace, executive director of Cary Visual Art. The work of two artists -- Phil Hathcock and Charles Pilkey -- was selected through a community-choice poll.

"The show is so fun to put on," Wallace said. "It engages more artists and more people every year."

Christian Hansen, a Cary sculptor, is showing his art in the show for the second year in a row. He got into sculpting about four years ago, when one of his friends introduced him to the art.

"The show is put on really well," Hansen said. "It's a good way for the town to get art."

His 9-foot sculpture has been dubbed "Harlequin" in honor of the lighthearted and comical servant from Italian commedia dell'arte. The gourd-shaped piece has a reflective center that Hansen hopes will attract the eyes of passersby.

"I hope people will interact and play with the sculpture," Hansen said.

Tripp Jarvis of Hillsborough is displaying his sculpture "Beyond the Sun." He took part in the first outdoor exhibition in Cary seven years ago.

For Jarvis, art is a way to express himself and achieve mental wholeness and healing.

"I wanted to reach out to the local community, and this was the best way to do that," he said.

Troffkin, the artist from Detroit, said he welcomed the chance to display his work outside.

"There are not many opportunities to show art outdoors," Troffkin said. "I was willing to make the drive."

Wanbaugh: 919-460-2604; Twitter: @TaylorWanbaugh


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Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)

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