Liberty Arts campaigns to plan Bull City Sculpture Show

Liberty Arts metal artist and board president Jackie MacLeod gets her inspiration from artwork all around Durham and that has led to a campaign that, if successful, will shower Durham with more large scuptures for about six months next year.

“Picture all the cool things in Downtown Durham like the Lucky Strike Tower, Durham Central Park, the Hill Building, and in the square behind it, Major the Bull; that massive presence in bronze that embodies the city’s tenacious spirit,” she says.

Jackie MacLeod shows off her work station within the Liberty Arts studio. (Staff Photo by: Naomi Marin-Rosario)

Jackie MacLeod shows off her work station within the Liberty Arts studio. (Staff Photo by: Naomi Marin-Rosario)

Liberty Arts, a non-profit arts community that exemplifies the vibrant character of Durham, wants to give the city its very first sculpture show: The Bull City Sculpture Show.

But as a non-profit, they need help to make it happen. That’s why they recently ran a Kickstarter campaign.

The plan is to hold The Bull City Sculpture Show from May to October, 2014.

This major outdoor exhibition will feature large-scale sculptures from throughout the nation.

They also hope to make it an annual world-class outdoor sculpture celebration for the people of Durham.

“As the only non-profit foundry on the east coast, we love creating large-scale artwork and can’t wait to share that passion by giving the Bull City Sculpture Show to Durham in May 2014,” says MacLeod.

Another artist at Liberty Arts, sculptor Tripp Jarvis, says that the show will invite artists from all over the country, but that they will only select 12 artists from all of the individuals who apply to visit downtown Durham for six months.

“Each artist that is chosen will bring one piece; a large outdoor sculpture,” says Jarvis. “So each year, Durham would own another piece of sculpture but also always have 12 pieces coming in.”

Philip Freelon FAIA, founder and president of The Freelon Group was recently selected as the independent juror who will select the sculptures that will be in the show. A Purchase Award winner will be acquired for the city and permanently displayed here.

Another award, the People’s Choice Award, will be determined by public vote and stay on loan in Durham for one year.

The call for artists will go out November 15 since they were able to raise $24,745 through the Kickstarter website. They received donations from 278 people.

The Kickstarter Campaign started on September 20 and ended on October 21. 

“Through Kickstarter, if you donated through them, you will get, depending on your level of donation, you get some gifts, whether it’s a t-shirt, beer glasses… I think the team is making a couple of small sculptures that will go out to the select few that do donate at a certain time,” says Jarvis.

The Liberty Arts building located in Golden Belt. (Staff Photo by: Naomi Marin-Rosario)

The Liberty Arts building located in Golden Belt. (Staff Photo by: Naomi Marin-Rosario)

None of the artists at Liberty Arts are being paid for their time and no Liberty Arts Sculptors can enter their work or benefit from the show.

So, they are committed to this project because they truly believe that a large outdoor sculpture is a priceless investment in the people and future of the city of Durham.

As stated on their Kickstarter video, “The show is important because large-scale public art defines and revitalizes cities. It creates conversation and it cements the link between people and the culture of their city.”

MacLeod says that the public installation of these pieces of art will begin in early May of 2014 and throughout that time, the displaying artists will be available for an open question and discussion about their art.

They and their works will be celebrated with a grand gala in Durham Central Park, which is stated on their website as the primary hub of the show since it is within easy walking distance. This gala will open with a public bronze pour and commence with walking tours of the sculpture show.

Liberty Arts is also excited to announce that as a part of their mission, they believe this will inspire an educational outreach by offering Bull City Sculpture Show Internships for local students and/or emerging artists in combination with the involvement of the people within the community.

Liberty Arts’ goal is to expand public awareness and encourage permanent outdoor sculpture in Durham as symbols of the city’s civic pride.

For more information about the show, check out their website: for event details, show calendar, award information, registration, submission information, and more.