Longview Outdoor Gallery prepares to donate final set of sculptures to the city

2023-01-13 12:54:16 By : Mr. Hong Mao

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"Neptune" by Jud Turner at the corner of Commerce and Florida Streets on Monday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. The sculpture is part of the Longview Outdoor Gallery's goal to bring 23 sculptures to the downtown area. Wall Clock

Longview Outdoor Gallery prepares to donate final set of sculptures to the city

Over the last decade, the sidewalks of downtown Longview have filled up with carved stone and carefully shaped metal.

The Longview Outdoor Gallery has been working since 2010 to bring in sculptures to beautify and draw more visitors to downtown Longview. In recent years the nonprofit set itself a goal: purchase 23 pieces for permanent display by 2023 for the city’s 100th anniversary.

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The group is going to meet and exceed that goal. The gallery board plans to make their final large donation of sculptures to the city at an upcoming Longview City Council meeting. A few final donations and installations will take place later this year, before the group disbands around autumn.

“It meant for a very meaningful retirement to leave something that will outlive you,” founding board member Hans Schaufus said. “And we feel confident with these pieces that they will be around for a very long time.”

"Coffee Break" by Mike Theisen is located by Guse's Coffee Shop on Commerce Street on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. 

The Longview Outdoor Gallery sponsors the temporary display of the sculptures every two years, chosen by a jury of regional art experts. The selected pieces are placed downtown while the nonprofit sees how popular they are and raises money to keep them.

Headlining the permanent additions from the last round of sculptures added in 2021 is “Neptune,” a shark made from found pieces of metal that won the most recent People’s Voice popularity contest. The Outdoor Gallery will also be keeping “Coffee Break,” another found metal piece made by a Longview artist, and “Slough Fish Finial.”

Trudy Woods, a local artist and longtime volunteer with the Longview Outdoor Gallery, said they will probably end up buying even more sculptures from this final group with the remaining donations.

“I was pretty sure we could get there. When we had these final entries come in, we knew we would make it because these were such strong pieces,” Woods said.

"Slough Fish Finial" by Wayne Chabre on Hudson Street and 14th Avenue on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. 

One more new piece will be installed by the outdoor gallery as well, a large butterfly-topped pole made by artists in Vancouver. Woods said the new piece will bring a large splash of color to the current earth-toned pieces when it is installed outside the Columbia Theatre.

Near the end of each two-year run, the nonprofit buys the most popular and resonant pieces from the artists, then donates them to the city to keep on display long-term. Each sculpture costs between $6,000 and $20,000. Longview is in charge of moving and maintaining the sculptures as needed once they become city property.

The Longview Gallery has planned to be a temporary effort for most of its existence. With the aging pool of board members and the deadline goal achieved, board members agreed it made sense to wrap up their efforts on a high note. Woods pointed to the Broad Strokes Project, which has focused on adding murals to downtown buildings, as an art project that will succeed the sculpture gallery.

“They’re a very enthusiastic bunch. Their approach is a little bit different than ours and they can do a lot of work quickly,” Woods said.

The Longview Outdoor Gallery manages the donor wall at Commerce and Maple Street, which honors the individuals and groups that have made significant donations to the nonprofit.

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Eight sculptures will be installed on sidewalks around downtown Longview on Saturday as part of the final push by the Longview Outdoor Gallery…

"Neptune" by Jud Turner at the corner of Commerce and Florida Streets on Monday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. The sculpture is part of the Longview Outdoor Gallery's goal to bring 23 sculptures to the downtown area.

"Coffee Break" by Mike Theisen is located by Guse's Coffee Shop on Commerce Street on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. 

"Slough Fish Finial" by Wayne Chabre on Hudson Street and 14th Avenue on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in downtown Longview. 

Longview Outdoor Gallery prepares to donate final set of sculptures to the city

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