Hunter Museum of American Art receives $1.2 million grant from Benwood Foundation

Project will ask Chattanoogans to vote on sculpture to be placed in public spaces around the city 

CONTACT:  
Katrina Craven (423) 752-2070 
kcraven@huntermuseum.org

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Sept. 30, 2008) - The Hunter Museum of American Art was recently awarded a major $1.2 million grant from the Benwood Foundation.

The Art in Public Places grant allows the Hunter to acquire new outdoor sculptures for its permanent collection and place those pieces in public spaces around the city. As part of this initiative, the public will be invited to help choose which pieces the museum will acquire via an online voting process.

"This project is an example of the Benwood Foundation's continuing commitment to cultural life in Chattanooga and support of public art as a way to highlight the vitality of the City," said Kristy Huntley, Benwood's Financial and Program Officer for Arts & Culture, Environment and Community Development Focus Areas. 

The Hunter Museum, in conjunction with the Public Art Committee, the City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department and the RiverCity Company and other collaborators, will select locations for sculpture and then choose several possible pieces for each site. The museum will then conduct online voting on the Hunter Web site, www.huntermuseum.org. The process will begin in early 2009 with the selection of sites, and voting will take place throughout the spring. Voting results will be announced in the spring, and installation of the pieces is scheduled for the summer and fall.

"This project is a continuation of our efforts to take the Hunter off the hill and make it a more active part of the community," said Hunter Museum Director Rob Kret. "Placing our sculptures around the city will allow us to expand the footprint of the museum beyond the Bluff View Art district."

Allowing the public to choose which pieces will be placed in each location offers a tremendous opportunity to engage citizens in the selection process, Kret added. 

 "Our goal is to provide at least three recommended sculptures for each site," Kret explained. "The public will have the opportunity to learn about each of the pieces, the artists and the selection criteria before they cast their votes for their favorite pieces."

Working together with the Benwood Foundation, the City of Chattanooga and the Public Art Committee, RiverCity and other is a great example of Chattanooga's motto of "working together works," Kret added.

The four sites currently under consideration for this project are the Chattanooga Zoo, Miller Plaza and two locations in Renaissance Park.

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The Hunter Museum of American Art is located at 10 Bluff View in Chattanooga, Tenn.  The Museum is open every day until 5 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m.  For more information the public may call the Museum at (423) 267-0968, or visit us on the Web at www.huntermuseum.org.

*Click here to view the Art in Public Places website or vote now for the Renaissance Park site.