Permanent Sculpture Collection
What began with a pig weather vane that was purchased in 1986 for the roof of the Caldwell Arts Council, has evolved into the Annual Sculpture Celebration and our collection of over 80 publicly displayed sculptures. Not only has this unique collection become a major attraction and point of community pride, it also has brought national attention in that the Arts Council has one of the largest collections of permanent public outdoor sculpture of any community of its size in the United States. Consisting of pieces created by more than 60 artists, the collection was comprised through private funding with three pieces being commissioned. This includes "Across the Grain", by Thomas Sayre, a 26-foot diameter, 40,000-pound earthcast sculpture resembling a circular hole saw that honors the area's treasured manufacturing past as well as its anticipated future.
In addition, the council's Annual Sculpture Celebration and the permanent collection have been featured in North Carolina’s Our State magazine, on a UNC-TV special, noted in the Orlando Sentinel, and dubbed by the Charlotte Observer as the place “where sculpture reigns”.
More than half of the collection is outdoor for easy access, and many of the indoor pieces are accessible primarily during business days during the week. See our permanent collection below and our interactive map here.
Click on images below to see title, artist, and location