Brooklyn artist's sculpture latest addition to Hilton Head public art collection

tbarton@islandpacket.comNovember 13, 2013 

Red, eight-inch steel pipe bent into an unraveling spiral will join a family of horses and a bronze statue of Sea Pines founder Charles Fraser as the latest addition to Hilton Head Island's growing public art collection.

Brooklyn, N.Y., artist John Clement's "Carocol" was chosen by a jury for purchase and installation at one of four sites approved by the town for public art. The jury selected the outdoor sculpture from among 20 pieces by local, regional and national artists on display at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn as part of the town's second annual Public Art Exhibition.

Presented by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, the exhibition runs through the end of December.

"It's an unbelievable honor," Clement said at a reception Wednesday to announce the selection. "... To quote Lou Reed, you make art because you think something is beautiful, and if you think something is beautiful then your hope is somebody might appreciate it, as well."

Clement has completed several public commissions and installations across the United States and abroad, including New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Switzerland.

Jurors appreciated the abstract work's bright palate and suggested movement. They said it offered "a perspective of the landscape not seen before," according to a news release.

The abstract, modernist sculpture is a departure from past selections for the collection.

"That wasn't a conscious decision," said jury member and past public art committee chairman Mark Baker. "The jury felt so strongly about the dynamics and beauty of the piece. It's fluid, bold, geometric and bright, giving it a really interesting contrast to the natural environment and will stand out nicely."

Clement said the piece is a metaphor for "the perpetual cycles of nature and the coming together and moving away of individuals."

The sculpture's title is a play on the Spanish word for snail. Clement said a Spanish-speaking friend commented that the work looked like a "caracol."

The $40,000 sculpture was purchased by the foundation with a $25,000 donation from Kroger, and previous donations and proceeds from its first exhibition in 2011, foundation spokeswoman Carolyn Torgersen said. The sculpture will be donated to the town and installed early next year at a site to be determined, she said.

Baker and Torgersen said they would like to see the piece included as part of the waterfront park planned for Shelter Cove.

The foundation's public art exhibition committee also announced three people's choice winners, determined by online and paper ballots. More than 1,700 votes were cast.

First-place winner was Loveland, Colo., artist Jane DeDecker's "Into the Wind."

Second-place was Athens, Ohio, artist David Hostetler's "Tribal Figure."

Third place went to Kingston, Tenn., artist Bryan Wilkerson's "Faux Rest."

Each received an cash award sponsored by Atlanta law firm Alston and Bird -- $3,500 for first, $2,500 for second and $1,500 for third.

The foundation created a Public Art Fund in 2006 to buy and place art in public spaces, beginning with the statue of Fraser at Compass Rose Park. New exhibits open every two years, with the committee gradually adding pieces to the town's collection.

The goal is to raise awareness of the arts, enhance educational landscapes, and provided a needed social escape and creative outlet for residents and visitors, foundation president and CEO Denise Spencer said.


Sculpture chosen for 2013 Hilton Head Island public installation

Mark Baker, committee member of the Public Art Fund announces the sculpture "Carocol" by Brooklyn artist John Clement as the piece chosen for purchase and permanent installation on Hilton Head Island during the Nov. 13 presentation for the 2013 Public Art Exhibition at the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. Sarah Welliver

Brooklyn artist's sculpture latest addition to Hilton Head public art collection (3:10)

Brooklyn, N.Y., artist John Clement discusses on Nov. 13, 2013, his sculpture "Carocol," chosen by a jury for purchase and installation at one of four sites approved by the Town of Hilton Head Island for public art. Tom Barton

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead.

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