Lenoir, N.C. is now the sacred keeper of a monumental piece of public art by renowned international sculptor—Thomas Sayre.
For the past year, the Caldwell Arts Council has undertaken a massive public art project to bring Sayre, who is also a principal of multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscape, to Caldwell County for the creation of one of his world-renowned sculptures. From the ground up, Sayre and several local contractors used a technique called earthcasting. This style of casting creates a mold in the earth in which concrete is poured and then pulled from the ground, creating an inspiring 26-foot diameter, 40,000-pound centerpiece for Caldwell County’s sculpture collection.
The final piece resembles a circular hole saw called Across the Grain, which will be bordered by a grassy plaza in the former Blackwelder Hospital site in downtown Lenoir on the corner of Harper Avenue and Church Street.
The finished plaza features a sidewalk with green stepping stones that honor the financial donors for the project. There is seating created by local artists using historic timbers along with a grassy berm for viewing the sculpture in different perspectives. The entire process is complex, and involves considerable planning and engineering skills. For now, you can see a powerpoint slideshow of this event by clicking here: Slide Show
Who Is Thomas Sayre?
Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects all over the world and has been part of the design team for civic, educational, and museum buildings. He, along with architect Steve Schuster, is a founding principal of the multi-disciplinary design firm, Clearscapes, and has collaborated to produce lighting, furniture, terrazzo floors, and specialty surfaces.
Growing up in the shadow of Washington National Cathedral, Thomas' early art education, and his love and respect of natural materials, came from the stonecutters and the Cathedral. His education continued at St. Albans School, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
While occasionally producing "studio" pieces, most of his efforts are focused in the public arena. It is here where the idea of producing art intersects with the realities of life. The art will work only when disparate opinions come together through collaboration to form a coherent vision. To learn more about Thomas, visit his website.
Other Works by Thomas Sayre