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Mobile app showcases Wilmington’s walk-around art scene

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Visitors to downtown Wilmington can take a guided tour of the area’s art sites at their leisure. A free smart phone app, released by the Arts Council of Wilmington, includes photographs and brief audio descriptions of 32 stops, including ACES Gallery, the New Hanover County Public Library and Thalian Hall.

Pedestrian Art — a series of 12 outdoor sculptures — is also included in the tour. The first three Pedestrian Art pieces are placed side-by-side on a stretch of grass along the Riverwalk near the convention center.

The first sculpture, a linear steel-and-wood piece by Jeff Kiefer, is titled “Motion.” Kiefer was inspired by children’s construction toys. The third sculpture, “Beacon,” was also created by Kiefer.

The second piece, “Transformation Revisited,” is an aluminum sculpture by Andrew Denton that features a head with wings emerging from geometric shapes.

“A lot of people believe you have a spirit animal. … I thought that was an interesting thing to try to sculpt,” Denton said. “The piece is about freedom of thought and how your mind can take you places through meditation or reading or music. … It’s about transformation.”

Although Denton’s sculptures featured in the Pedestrian Art exhibit are metal, one of his greatest artistic influences, Laredo Taft, worked with marble.

“He did all these big figurative sculptures all over Chicago,” Denton said.

Denton became familiar with Taft’s work when he was an undergraduate at the School Art Institute of Chicago. Denton went on to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from East Carolina University.

Denton learned about Wilmington’s Pedestrian Art exhibition through Tri-State Sculptors.

“It’s an organization, a nonprofit, for sculptors in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia,” he said.

Denton’s artwork has been showcased in nearby cities, such as Charleston and Chapel Hill, and as far away as Latvia. His goal is to spread his artwork around the world.

“I quit my day job — teaching — so I can focus on being a full-time, self-employed artist,” he said.

Denton said he is excited about the new app and the Pedestrian art project.

“I’m really, really pleased about showing in Wilmington. I’m psyched to have those pieces by the Riverwalk,” he said.

Some of the stops on the walking tour are also included in the Fourth Friday Gallery Nights — a series of after-hours celebrations organized by the Arts Council of Wilmington. The next Gallery Night will take place Friday, May 22, 6-9 p.m.

ACES Gallery is one of the participating venues. Attendees can enjoy an exhibit of colorful paintings by Randy McNamara exhibited until May 26.

For more information about the app or the Gallery Nights, call 910-343-0998 or visit www.ArtsWilmington.org

email [email protected]

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