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Sculpture walk opens in downtown Kokomo


The art movement in downtown Kokomo continues to grow, with the Kokomo Sculpture Walk opening April 5.

A partnership between the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance and the City of Kokomo, the Kokomo Sculpture Walk is an outdoor exhibit featuring nine large-scale sculptures along beautiful downtown trails and waterways.

“We think the community will be impressed with the variety of designs and structures of these pieces from artists across the Midwest,” said Susan Alexander, manager of downtown creative placemaking for the Alliance. “Some of these pieces are strikingly large. The largest sculpture weighs 2,000 pounds.”

A steel sculpture titled “Everything,” the first piece was installed Wednesday, March 20, near Mulberry and Buckeye streets. In the next two weeks, all nine pieces were installed on 8 foot by 8 foot concrete bases. The exhibit stretches from Madison Street to the Wildcat Creek along the Industrial Heritage Trail and from 306 Riverfront District to Apperson Way along the Walk of Excellence Trail.

Nearly 100 sculptors responded to the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association’s public call for art in February. A jury then selected the nine pieces, which are on loan and are included in the inaugural 2019-2021 exhibit of the sculpture walk.

“The chosen pieces are well-made and visually interesting,” said Gregory Steel, associate professor of fine art at Indiana University Kokomo and jury member. “Like all artwork, they’re designed to enrich the lives of the people who see them.”

Alexander said the sculptures will also enrich our community’s economy.

“Public art benefits our community through placemaking and bringing people together,” she said. “It is a tool for economic development that can provide the spark for new investment and build community momentum by reinforcing civic pride and community ownership.”

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight has long touted this type of quality-of-life improvements as a way to attract new residents and new talent.

“Our responsibility is to make Kokomo the best place to live, work and raise a family,” Goodnight said. “Improvements to infrastructure including new public art and enhancements to parks and trails is part of the process. These kinds of changes are vital to our economic growth.”

The pieces were strategically placed throughout downtown to increase usage of the trails.

“Because this art exhibit is placed along our walking trails, we hope more residents and visitors will access our trail system and enjoy the added bonus of better health,” said Alexander. “And, because we hope to change this exhibit every two years, it makes all these spaces dynamic and exciting places to visit.”

The exhibit’s opening culminates a year of planning.

“This is a project that flowed out of the Kokomo Public Art Action Coalition,” Alexander said.

Through the downtown association, Alexander brought the coalition together three years ago to produce and promote public art. It includes artists, filmmakers and art professors, among others.

“We created this coalition because we understand that public art is an opportunity to engage in a new perspective while also furthering our community’s positive image, both to those who live here and those who visit.”

The exhibit was made possible through key support and land usage from Howard County Government, Kokomo School Corporation and Sunbelt Rentals.

To view a printer-friendly map of the sculpture locations, visit