Monumental Task

Three finalists chosen
in sculpture contest

Designs will be displayed
and voted on by the public

By Don Ward

(March 2012) – The Madison Riverfront Development Corp. has selected three finalists in its search for a sculpture design for an artistic piece to be built along the Madison, Ind., riverfront.
Brian Martin, 40, of Madison; David Kirby Bellamy, 55, of Knightstown, Ind.; and Adam McIntyre, 38 of La Grange, Ky., are the finalists. Their sculpture designs were chosen from a total of 12 submissions during a call for competition entries that ended Feb. 1.
The committee plans to unveil the three designs and their creators at a March 3 luncheon for the arts community. The winning submission will be used as a blueprint for building the actual sculpture on the riverfront. Each finalist has earned $1,000 apiece in prize money to be used to build a maquette (a working model) of their designs. The prize money was provided by a grant from the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County and the Madison Bicentennial Legacy fund.
Maquettes are due May 15 and will be displayed at various events, festivals and locations throughout the year, according to Jan Vetrhus, the Madison Bicentennial chairwoman who is heading the competition for the Riverfront Development Corp. The public will have the opportunity to vote on its favorite design throughout this year.
“We haven’t finalized all the details for voting,” Vetrhus said. “We may do some fundraising with it, such as charging $1 a vote or maybe have penny votes at the schools. We hope to have lots of public input and interaction with the artists. We will be organizing receptions for the artists as their schedules permit.”
The final selection will not be made until the end of the year and will include the public input, the selection committee, the Riverfront Development Corp. and the city parks and maintenance departments.
“The final sculpture will not be built until funds are raised through grants and private funding,” Vetrhus said. “Our hope is that public art will become a way of life in Madison, and we will continue to have competitions.
The competition asked entrants to submit designs that would remind folks of the city’s river history by providing an interactive sculpture that would be created along the riverfront.
“The final design chosen will be something that people can ride or touch or climb. It will be fun and unique, something people will enjoy for generations,” said Louann Waller of the Riverfront Development Corp.
Collaboration between artists and engineers was encouraged. Public safety, durability and low maintenance were emphasized. Materials used were to be able to withstand heat, cold, rain, snow, occasional flooding and be resistant to vandalism. The selected design’s permanent installation is planned for the corner of West Street and Vaughn Drive. This is the first piece of public art to come from suggestions for the Bicentennial Legacy gift.
Martin’s design features a roof caught in a tree with concrete cell and waterfall set in curved retaining walls, seating and ramps to mirror Bicentennial Park.
It would be comprised of steel, concrete, pavers, cedar timber, cedar shingles, hard siding and split-face blocks.
Kirby’s design features a paddlewheeler held up to flood height by two columns of water. It would be comprised of aluminum, stainless steel, bronze, concrete with structural steel.
McIntyre’s design features a water fountain controlled by handprints to various flood heights, with Madison history illuminated as water splashes on it. It would be comprised of stainless steel, high performance translucent resins, poured concrete pad with special finish.

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