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Three-dimensional pieces of original art went on display in downtown Decatur Thursday evening as kick-off ceremonies were held for the first-ever Decatur Sculpture Walk.
The event attracted a sizable crowd which gathered around the courthouse for the unveiling festivities and later strolled throughout the downtown area to view the 12 works of art on display.
The sculptures, ranging in size from two feet to 25 feet in height, will remain on display through May 31, 2013. Visitors to the downtown will be asked, especially during this weekend's Kekionga Festival, to vote for their favorite art piece as the People's Choice Award winner.
Decatur Mayor John Schultz, a member of the Sculpture Walk committee, saluted fellow committee members Jean Brune, Kelly Ehinger, Trois Hart, Wes Kuntzman, Greg Mendez, Coni Mayer and Susan Roe for their tireless work over the past year in setting up the first-ever event of its kind in the city.
Mendez, a local artist who was influential in organizing the walk, said there were "too many people to thank" for making the event a reality. He sang the praises of city employees who assisted in laying bases for the sculptures, calling the installation on Wednesday "the best job ever" among similar sculpture walks in which he has participated.
Mendez also thanked the walk committee, which he said "took an idea I brought to them and ran with it. We are very lucky to have a group of individuals who care about their community and want to see it grow."
Of his fellow participating artists, Mendez said "we weren't sure what we were going to get. But the artists definitely did not disappoint."
One of those sculptors, Nathan Pierce, spoke on behalf of three fellow artists from Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
"I do these (sculpture walks) all the time, and it's always exciting to be a part of a first-time event. It's an honor and a privilege to be a part of Decatur's first-ever Sculpture Walk," said Pierce.
Decatur resident Curtis Delk Rose is a relative newcomer to the sculpting medium, "but I'm really proud to be a part of this," he said.