MORE TOUR: Sculpture Tour Eau Claire announces 2020 call for art

Lauren Fisher, photos by Rachel Worthing

EAU CLAIRE IS SWIMMING IN ART. For the 2018 Eau Claire Sculpture Tour, local artist Kate McLean created “Big Blue,” a whale several feet across, assembled from many triangles and trapezoids.
EAU CLAIRE IS SWIMMING IN ART. For the 2018 Eau Claire Sculpture Tour, local artist Kate McLean created “Big Blue,” a whale several feet across, assembled from many triangles and trapezoids.

Sculpture Tour Eau Claire, the organization that has been decorating Downtown Eau Claire with world-class three-dimensional art for the past nine years, is looking for submissions for the nonprofit program’s 10th season.  The 2020 tour will feature up to 40 new sculptures by professional and ameteur artists of all backgrounds, and submissions will be accepted through October 21.

“We’ve gotten to the point where almost a third of our sculptures are from local artists, and we kind of like that,” Julie Pangallo, Sculpture Tour’s executive director, said.  “We’re just really excited about the talent that is literally coming out of the woods around here.  People who have been working on things for years and we discover them, and it’s really exciting to see how they progress with their art.”

Pangallo and Board President Brent Douglass are both excited to see the various mediums artists will submit for the tour’s tenth anniversary.  Pangallo is hoping that despite the difficulty of sourcing bronze in the region, they will see more statues made from the metal, while Douglass would like to see new mediums explored.  The organization is seeking more partnerships with local businesses which might allow them to display works indoors, which would allow less weather-resistant materials to find a place in the tour.

Throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020, Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is exploring ways to expand outreach to the community.  Locals can visit with members of the nonprofit’s board at the Saturday Artists Market in downtown Eau Claire, where they can also buy raffle tickets to win a cute kangaroo sculpture by Eau Claire artist Dale Lewis.  The organization also accepts donations at their booth.

This year, Sculpture Tour partnered with art and gift shop Tangled Up in Hue to design a custom t-shirt of 2017’s People’s Choice award-winning sculpture, Celeste.  The group is also considering organizing artist talks and workshops where makers can share their expertise and stories.

With Water St. and S. Barstow St. on the rise, Pangallo and Douglass are looking forward to bringing more art and interest to neighboring areas, including Graham Ave. and across Lake St.  With luck, they say, the Sculpture Tour will help encourage new development.

“We’re trying to do more than just put sculptures on the streets,” Douglass said.


Voting for the 2019 Sculpture Tour is open until Sept. 10.  Ballots may be cast in person at various stops along the tour, at the Sculpture Tour office at 610 Barstow St., or online at www.sculpturetour.org.  More information about the 2020 call for artists is also available at their website.

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