Within the next month, nine new sculptures will be installed around the City Green at City Springs in the annual “ArtSS in the Open” competition.

After a call for entries to the juried sculpture competition in the spring, 120 artists submitted their work. After review by Art Sandy Springs, the city’s Parks and Recreation and legal departments, jurors picked the top nine works, said Cheri Morris, chair of ArtSS in the Open. 

“It is that time of year that we’re doing the big switcheroo. The pieces that won last year, that you voted on in June, will soon be moved out of City Springs and into their permanent homes. And the new finalists will be coming in right behind them,” said Morris, chair of the public arts program for Art Sandy Springs.

The new sculptures will be on display from August 2021 to August 2022. Artists will get a $1,500 stipend per sculpture for delivery costs and display. That amount will go toward the purchase price of any sculpture the city decides to buy, she said. The city will make that decision in September 2022.

“For the first time, we were able to get David Landis, a very famous Atlanta artist, to enter. He has not entered before, and we specifically pursued him and a couple of others that we know about,” Morris said.

She said they learned their lesson last year after lockdowns and illness caused an artist to drop out. Three alternate sculptures were chosen in case something like that happens this year.

Art Sandy Springs began ArtSS in the Open in 2005. It became a collaborative project with the city in 2017.

Morris also shared a map showing locations in parks, public plazas, roundabouts and rights-of-way where public art could be placed and has been placed. She said Art Sandy Springs would consider locations and asked the council for input.

The sculptures City Council decides to purchase from the 2020-2021 competition will be permanently placed at the northwest corner of Abernathy and Wright Roads, she said.

Council member Andy Bauman suggested a site down by Powers Ferry Landing with a “horrible sign there” that could be used in the future.

“That could be a very, very visible spot. I hope we would look at that and expand the footprint of this,” he said.

Bob Pepalis

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Reporter Newspapers.