Wake Forest, N.c. (PressExposure) May 06, 2009 -- Historic Downtown Wake Forest...there's a new kid in town!...and while she's quieter that most she is expected to stir things up in downtown Wake Forest!
A statue created by internationally recognized sculptor J. Seward Johnson entitled "YUM YUM" features a young girl happily perched atop a ledge enjoying a delicious treat. The statue is on loan for a period of one year from The Sculpture Foundation in Santa Monica, California and courtesy of the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment (GJCAE) and the Storytellers Bookstore in downtown Wake Forest.
By creating human gesture in bronze, Seward Johnson creates a sculptural experience that everyone can enjoy. If you are a frequent traveler, it is likely that you have seen Johnson's work in other places. New York City has several very publicly sited works, as does Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Osaka, and even Istanbul. Cities will often arrange an exhibition of Johnson's bronzes to bring levity to a downtown area, and museum's frequently host exhibits on their grounds and parklands. You may also have seen photos of the sculptures in Architectural Digest, New Yorker Magazine, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Life Magazine, and others.
The idea of bringing a piece of Johnson's work began when Susan Neeley, local resident and longtime supporter of arts and culture in Wake Forest and along with husband, Drew Bridges, co-owner of the Storytellers Bookstore, saw Johnson's work in another city. Upon some further research Ms. Neeley discovered that other communities have used Johnson's work to mount a large scale display of public art that engages the viewer and creates a sense of excitement in the host city.
While it is hoped that in future the community of Wake Forest might host a larger scale display of multiple pieces across the community, for now, teamed with the GJCAE they are bringing a single piece of Johnson's work to the historic downtown, thereby bringing viewers to not only see the work itself, but the new sidewalks and streetscape that has been completed in Phase One of the towns Streetscape improvement project.
"We felt like this was a great time to focus some new attention on downtown as an arts and entertainment district, and also to bring forward a dialog regarding public art to the community, especially since the Town of Wake Forest has recently established a Public Art Commission", says Elizabeth Johnson, President of the GJCAE, "and we are excited for the opportunity to be a part of bringing this exhibit to downtown Wake Forest.