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New sculptures join Yokna Sculpture Trail

Seven new sculptures have joined the Yokna Sculpture Trail, a rotating exhibit of 18 large-scale sculptures by local, regional and national artists.

This collaboration between the city of Oxford, the University of Mississippi, and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is the first outdoor sculpture program of its kind in north Mississippi and was recognized last year as one of the top six public art projects in the South.

New pieces have been installed at the Powerhouse Sculpture Garden at the Powerhouse Community Arts Center, Rebel Sculpture Park in front of Meek Hall on the Ole Miss campus, and Pat Lamar Park on Country Club Road.

One-third of the sculptures are rotated each year. They are leased from the artists for two years.

“The trail is always changing and evolving and is a different experience each time,” said Wayne Andrews, director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council. “Because we rotate the works it brings new artists to the community.”

The trail has attracted submissions from artists from Oxford as well as Maine, Texas and North Carolina.

“By having an annual call for public works we have the opportunity to reinforce our position as an arts community outside of Oxford,” Andrews said. “This year, we had seven openings and received over 65 submissions from across the United States. The experience and connections the artists have while they visit Oxford benefits our community in unseen ways – our students from the university make connections, our artists expand their network creating opportunities to show their work in other communities, and other art communities talk about the quality of our community and program.”

The new sculptures include, “Eyes of Dawn,” by Carl Billingsley at The Powerhouse; “Weft,” by Rachel David at the Rebel Sculpture Park; “Burdens of Flight,” by Lance Vickery at the Rebel Sculpture Park; “Delilah,” by Joni Youngkins-Herzog at Pat Lamar Park; “Divergent,” by Andrew Light at Pat Lamar Park; “Nest of the Chicken Hawk,” by Deane Hughes at Pat Lamar Park; and “Oak Leaf Shade Bench,” by Jim Gallucci at Pat Lamar Park.

The program is funded through donations raised by the Arts Council and University of Mississippi Department of Art and the Museum, which covers the transportation, installation and artist fees.