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Wallowa County Arts Center Seeks Submissions For Native-Made Sculpture


The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon, where we held the live State of Wonder taping

The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon, where we held the live State of Wonder taping

Reuben Unrau/OPB

Wallowa County’s regional arts center is calling for submissions for a groundbreaking public work.

The Josephy Center for Arts and Culture is asking Plateau tribal artists to submit ideas for a new work to be placed in front of the center, in the town of Joseph.

Rich Wandschneider directs the center’s Alvin M. Josephy Library.

“[The city of] Joseph did a streetscape project about 15 years ago,” Wandschneider said, “and put up about a dozen bronze statues.”

Wallowa County is home to a thriving bronze casting industry, and the public artworks are intended to reflect that history.

“Four of the bronzes on Main Street, do depict American Indians, but none of them were done by tribal artists,” Wandschneider adds. 

The Center got a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to fund the creation of vanguard new artwork. After initial submissions are in, three finalists will receive $1,000 to develop detailed sculptural proposals.

The grant will also provide money for construction, transportation, and landscaping necessary to complement the winning work, as well as $25,000 for the artist, plus funds to pay for any necessary casting or construction.

Wandschneider says experience with bronze work is not necessary, and that the Center would consider other kinds of sculptural work, including rock or wood figures.

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