Salude, by artist John Adduci, is located on the Industrial Heritage Trail near Sycamore Street. It is one of nine sculptures in and around downtown Kokomo that make up the new City of Kokomo Sculpture walk, which was unveiled during First Friday. Staff photo by Kelly Lafferty Gerber
Salude, by artist John Adduci, is located on the Industrial Heritage Trail near Sycamore Street. It is one of nine sculptures in and around downtown Kokomo that make up the new City of Kokomo Sculpture walk, which was unveiled during First Friday. Staff photo by Kelly Lafferty Gerber

A young girl spinning around and around. Aluminum martini glasses clinking together. A bird’s wing made with stainless steel that can be lit up at night.

Those are descriptions of some of the nine new sculptures that make up the new Kokomo Sculpture Walk. The sculptures — made by professional artists from mostly the Midwest — can be seen at various points in the downtown area, stretching from Madison Street to the Wildcat Creek along the Industrial Heritage Trail and from 306 Riverfront District to Apperson Way along the Walk of Excellence Trail.

It’s now the second such exhibit the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the city of Kokomo has partnered together to put on. The plan is to feature nine new sculptures every two years.

 

For this installment, the city and Alliance received hundreds of submissions. A panel of four then was tasked with whittling the lot down to the nine chosen.

Gregory Steel, an associate professor of fine arts at Indiana University-Kokomo, was one of the judges. He spoke fondly of the chosen artists, many of whom have been doing their craft for decades.

“They’re all very well made,” he said. “They’re good and all are a bit different, with different qualities about them. I couldn’t pick a favorite. There’s things I like about all of them, and I think that’s what’s good about art. The artists that are in the show demonstrate this artist’s life, that people can do it and find a way making a living as an artist.”

Andrew Hellmund, of Minneapolis, is one of the artists featured in the new sculpture walk. His piece “After Hide” is named after his mentor, Peter Hide, and is made of recycled steel and varnish.

Using scrap and recycled metals is a staple of Hellmund’s work, which has been featured in exhibits and college campuses across the country.

“I want people to take away from my piece how they look at the world,” he said. “I use a lot of recycled objects, so some objects people may be able to recognize. ... If we can start seeing abstract things in a different or new context then we can begin seeing people in a different and new context as well and maybe start seeing their value in a different way as well.”

The artists and their work “After Hide”

by Andrew Hellmund, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Recycled steel, varnish

Located on the Industrial Heritage Trail and Superior Street, near Fire Station 1.

Artist Statement:

My sculpture originates in the found and the discarded. It straddles the industrial and the natural, asking questions of our sense of form and space, presence and void. My art explores the language at the intersection of sculpture, dance, architecture and history.

My methodology thus far is that of an intuitive modernist. I regularly use a direct metal approach, starting with the materials in my hands and responding to them as I work. Sometimes I will resort to drawing when I hit a wall or I tire of the templating process. I strive to create works that the hand and the mind can caress, combining the industrial with the soft accents of nature and history as subtle reminders of where the materials originated and how we can re-envision our daily surroundings.

After Hide, is a response piece to Modernist Sculptor and Mentor, Peter Hide. It was fabricated from recycled metals using arc welding and imagination.

“Terning”

Michael Young, of Chicago

Stainless Steel, Neon

Located on the Kokomo Riverwalk and Main Street.Sculpture Walk 06.jpg

Terning, by artist Michael Young, is located along the Kokomo Riverwalk at Main Street and lights up at night. The piece is one of nine in the City of Kokomo Sculpture walk. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Artist Statement:

All environments are interconnected — from sapling bending in the wind to a “hello” between neighbors. Elements combine in symphonies of site, forming our shared existences. Hardy materials like aluminum, bronze, and steel transform transitory moments into timeless sculpture.

My abstract style aims for emotional connection — harmony, growth, energy — and promotes unity while remaining personally meaningful to each viewer. Extensive experience in light-based sculpture allows me to not only integrate lighting into artwork but fully consider its impact on the final piece. Whether bright splashes of neon or sustainable LEDs, lighting brings both vivid color and inherent visibility. “Terning,” with colorful neon, has a distinct day-to-night presence.

Even its title has dual meaning: it combines tern – the name of a gull-like bird (and a frequent motif in my work) – with “turning.” It hints at the connection between mankind and his surroundings; a relationship that’s constantly “terning.”

“Reel Life” by Michael Young, of Chicago

Stainless Steel

Located on the Kokomo Riverwalk near Apperson Way.Sculpture Walk 01.jpg

Reel Life, by artist Michael Young, is located along the Kokomo Riverwalk and Apperson Way.

Artist Statement:

“Reel Life” follows my longtime aesthetic of combining organic forms and using their totality to create a larger figure. The sculpture’s subject is a dancing figure, a motif that not only reminds us of the inherent harmony with our environment but does so in an optimistic manner.

“Turn Around” by Georgianna Krieger, of Oakland, California

Bronze

Located in the Industrial Heritage Trail on Madison Street.

Artist Statement:

 

Do you remember looking up at the sky when you were a kid? Did you spin around and around to make yourself dizzy until you fell down? Turn Around is about the dizzy connection between today, tomorrow and yesterday. She is giddy joy and a spirit of hope and the sadness of change and loss along the way.

She is spinning in the past, spinning in the present, spinning in the future. As the sweep of her arms billows out in the wind, items from her past and future fall into the weeds around her.

Turn Around is an intimate sculpture suitable for outdoor display. Rendered in the life scale of a child, using traditional clay sculpting and lost wax casting methods, this is an intimate piece best suited to a low pedestal and outdoor space. Children and adults will relate to her as they would to a person they encounter unexpectedly.

“Mobile Home” by Andrew Arvanetes, of DeKalb, Illinois

Painted AluminumSculpture Walk 05.jpg

Mobile Home, by artist Andrew Arvanetes, is located along the Industrial Heritage near Monroe Street. It is one of nine sculptures in and around downtown Kokomo that make up the new City of Kokomo Sculpture walk, which was unveiled during First Friday, May 7, 2021. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Located on the Industrial Heritage Trail and Monroe Street.

Artist Statement:

This sculpture, “Mobile Home,” is fabricated of one-eighth-inch thick aluminum sheet and aluminum structural tubing. It measures 120-by-48-by-54 inches. It’s painted with an acrylic direct-to-metal primer and top coat. All edges are sanded to a quarter-inch round. This quirky composition is made up of some of my favorite visual references. The wheels, the stairs and the house are connected by structural tubing giving the sculpture a linear quality.

My sculptures have always been object oriented and narrative in nature. I attempt to achieve a connection with my audience by utilizing universal visual details. These details combine with the overall form to create the visual aesthetic.

Because of my formal approach to fabrication, rational functionality might be expected. On the contrary, the combination of physical scale, personal references and visual details often results in a whimsical and absurd reality.”

“Excelerator” by Ray Katz, of Pontiac, MichiganSculpture Walk 04.jpg

Excelerator, by artist Ray Katz, is located along the Industrial Heritage Trail by Mulberry Street. It is one of nine sculptures in and around downtown Kokomo that make up the new City of Kokomo Sculpture walk, which was unveiled during First Friday, May 7, 2021. Kelly Lafferty Gerber | Kokomo Tribune

Fabricated and Welded Steel, Painted

Located on the Industrial Heritage Trail and Mulberry Street

“Ring Walker”

by Ray Katz

Steel, Welded and Painted

Located on the Kokomo Riverwalk near Apperson Way.Sculpture Walk 02.jpg

Ring Walker, by artist Ray Katz, is located along the Kokomo Riverwalk at Apperson Way.

Artist Statement:

I have worked in many mediums, but metal has remained my passion and best suited for my work because of its strength, malleability and inherent artistic beauty. My sculptures created over the last fifteen years are conducive for outdoor Installations and Public Sites. I have developed the physical resources to construct my sculptures in my own studio.

My creative process requires organizing separate parts into a whole. Initially much of this activity is spontaneous, both in large and small scale work. The elements are all fabricated individually then assembled by welding and bolting.

The act of assembly and disassembly contribute to the ease of construction and installation and add to the aura of complexity in the work and is a part of my creative process. I create compositions that convey the kinetic energy found in my work. The active forms that are brought together represent the flux of life, and embrace transformative concepts such as evolution, metamorphosis and transcendence.

“Salude” by John Adduci, of Chicago

Aluminum

Located on the Industrial Heritage Trail and Sycamore Street

Artist Statement:

If you’ve ever eaten with an Italian family (or seen enough Sopranos episodes) the term is familiar — Salude! Often used as a toast before dinner — particularly celebrations — the term is a salutation meaning “your health!” My version of “Salude” takes the idea of a classic toast and reimagines it. At first, I designed Salude! as two clinking martini glasses, garnished with a cherry and a lime slice; envisioning their forms as twisting metal.

As time went on, I began to further deconstruct the martini glasses until they began to resemble two separate people. Once the glasses had become humanlike, they took on a life of their own. With their bases resembling taping feet and their outstretched arms connected, they seem to be dancing together — the ideal embodiment of salude! In fact, at certain angles, the human martini glasses even seem to be hugging. It’s curious to see how taking apart my original design seemed to bring together the final form — quite literally!

“Patrol the Pigeon” by Justin Kenney, of Battleboro, Vermont

Concrete and Steel

Located on the Kokomo Riverwalk near Municipal Stadium.

Artist Statement:

Consider an object you think is being pushed, except that it is actually being pulled. My work as a sculptor is done by creating an employment of the liquid concrete. I never actually shape an object, only the space it occupies. This is achieved through a compound dovetail bracket formed of steel and cast by the concrete. The sculpture occupies the form, followed by the displacement of space. This is where I want my viewer to make a discovery.

I want (my viewer) to see the world they occupy, in my work. Then silhouettes of buildings will separate from the horizontal lines of architecture and forced against the organic textures of thundering skies and the brooding oceans. For me, society has become this weight, impeding my self-perception. In my sculptures I have separated these qualities that create our society in an attempt to break away the callous corridor I walk. Here, the concrete of our sidewalks and the steel of our bridges are redefined.

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