Tue, Dec 12, 2017 07:49 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-12-31 communities
Public works of art on display
FRANKFORT Working in partnership, the Kentucky Arts Council, the Transportation Cabinet and the Finance and Administration Cabinet have awarded commissions for two public works of art for the new State Transportation Building in Frankfort.

Tony Higdon and Erica Strecker's work "Nexus" was selected for the Gateway site, which stands at the intersection of Mero, Holmes and High streets.

The stainless steel structure, which curves to a height of 40 feet, represents both the Kentucky River that flows around the city of Frankfort and stands as a metaphor for the variety of modes of transportation through time, including the cart, wagon, boat, bridge, automobile and plane.

Both Higdon and Strecker are Lexington sculptors, blacksmiths and metalsmiths who have collaborated on other public art projects, including a large piece they recently installed at the Clearwater Courthouse in Pinellas County, Fla.

University of Kentucky Professor Garry Bibbs was awarded a commission for his work "Now Get," a piece that will stand on the plaza near the main entrance to the new Transportation Cabinet Building. This 20' x 25' stainless steel sculpture consists of two columns topped by a futuristic bridge and car and representing current and future modes of travel, transportation and technology.

Bibbs' has created many public sculptures including pieces for the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Center for African-American heritage and the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. His work has also been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Museum, located just outside of Washington, D.C.

In April 2003, the three cabinets invited artists across the state to submit proposals for these commissions. A panel including representatives of various state agencies, the arts community and the local community, selected the winners on October 1, 2003. Funds were budgeted by the Transportation Building project designers and provided from the state road fund through the Capital Construction Project. Final installation of the pieces will be completed by September 2004.

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