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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sculpture festival carves niche for second appearance

    The event was never meant to be annual.

    The Tucson Sculpture Festival, presented by the Parasol Project, went from an opportunity to sell artwork during Tucson’s Gem Show to a two-week exhibition, complete with theatrical performances, bands and everything “”that’s going to embody the sculpture theme,”” according to Daniel Wolverton, founder of the Tucson Sculpture Festival and part of the Parasol Project.

    “”Initially, it wasn’t going to become an annual event,”” Wolverton said. “”But because there were a lot of sculptures sold, (artists asked if) next time we could do it like this and I was like, ‘Oh really, you guys want there to be a next time? Alright.””

    The Parasol Project was founded in 2009. To Wolverton, it is “”a community arts collective … a network of musicians, artists and performance artists … We utilize it to put together big shows and art parties. Not even so much a network as a community of artists, and we’re friends who get together and produce and put on these amazing shows.””

    For their second Sculpture Fest, Parasol Project booked and organized events from Feb. 4 through Feb. 18 — a duration that has doubled since last year’s Feb. 6-13 run.

    A sculpture-themed dance performance, a theater show where sculptures come to life, and a band of sculpture instruments that the audience can join are all features of this year’s festival.

    The opening performance ($3 to $5 suggested donation) and the closing ceremony ($10 ticket price) will be held at the Mat Bevel Institute of Kinetic Sculpture at 530 N. Stone Ave. Both shows will feature Anarchestra, an interactive band of metal sculpture instruments. The combined pieces can weigh over a ton, according to Anarchestra welder Andy Thurlow, who “”uses the techniques that sculptors use”” to weld steel instruments. Audience members are encouraged to play along with his band.

    “”There’s a lot of good work by a lot of good people,”” Thurlow said. “”And if people want to come out and make music too, they can do that too.””

    Besides showing and sharing art, Thurlow sees events like the Sculpture Fest as great opportunities to connect with the Tucson community.

    “”It’s good to see what local people are doing and get involved in the community, see what local artists of the community (are creating),”” he said. This is Thurlow’s second year participating in the festival. “”Some of my best friends are sculptors,”” he added.

    This year’s festival will also mark the debut of the new Studio 108 at 108 W. Fifth St., a transformation from studio to gallery space by artist Susan Kay Johnson. The studio is a church built in 1914 and renovated for public exhibition, according to Johnson.

    Other featured venues include the Sculpture Resource Center, at 640 N. Stone Ave., and Solar Culture, at 31 E. Toole Ave.

    “”It’s the place to see the most diverse variety and total volume of sculptures at one showing that you can see in Tucson,”” Wolverton said. “”If you want to see sculptures, this is where you are going to be able to see the most.””


    Parasol Project presents: the Tucson Sculpture Festival

    Feb. 4 – 18

    Opening and closing ceremonies at:

    Mat Bevel Museum of Kinetic Sculpture, 530 N. Stone Ave.

    Exhibits at:

    Studio 108, 108 W. 5th St.

    Sculpture Resource Center, 640 N. Stone Ave.

    Solar Culture, 31 E. Toole Ave.

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