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Sculpture Biennial pieces installed

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Columbus has added more public art as sculptures were installed in the arts district Thursday as part of the Sculpture Biennial.

Beginning at 5 a.m. and using cranes to lift the large pieces, Taylor Brothers construction workers installed:

“Flamenco,” by Chicago artist Ruth Aizuss Migdal, at Fourth and Washington streets

“It’s All About Electricity,” by Sarasota, Florida, sculptor Richard Herzog, on the western side of the Courthouse Plaza

Installation went smoothly and took about  45 minutes, Sculpture Biennial curator David Kadlec said.

Both pieces arrived in Columbus on June 18 and will remain until 2016.

“It feels awesome to start planting these in Columbus,” Kadlec said.

The red, painted steel “Flamenco” is 11 feet tall, 6 feet deep and 9 feet wide and weighs 2,000 pounds. The $40,000 abstract sculpture represents a flamenco dancer.

“It’s All About Electricity” is 15 feet tall, 10 feet wide and 8 feet deep and weighs 2,000 pounds. The $25,000 sculpture, made of steel with a rust finish, depicts a tree upside down, with its roots pointing skyward.

Kadlec was responsible for selecting the works, whittling 200 submissions from 83 artists down to the eight selections. Artists received $3,000 commissions for displaying their pieces in the Biennial.

The Biennial, a project of the Columbus Area Arts Council, ultimately will feature eight pieces, with installations continuing through mid-July.

“It turned out to be a spectacular group of work,” Kadlec said. “There was so much there that just was resonant.”

Arts Council organizers hope the sculptures will continue discussion and discourse on public art.

“It’s enhancing our community,” Columbus Area Arts Council Executive Director Karen Shrode said. “It’s just beautification. It just stimulates and encourages dialogue about issues, about the cultural landscape.”

Organizers also see it as continuing a legacy.

“It’s really exciting to see the first ones starting to appear. This in the same week that Martin Beach’s ‘Modern Totem’ will be dedicated,” said Erin Hawkins, Columbus Area Arts Council board president. “We’re really proud to continue the tradition of world-class public art in Columbus.”

If public demand is great enough, works brought in on a temporary basis can become permanent fixtures, Kadlec said. In 2006, the city conducted the Columbus Sculpture Invitational, which drew Dessa Kirk’s “Eos.”

A grassroots campaign raised $35,000 to keep the sculpture in its spot at the Fifth Street median.

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