BROOKSVILLE — Brooksville's staid, conservative image is about to get an artsy boost. Come October, downtown will be transformed into outdoor art gallery, with an array of sculptures.
The proposal that will create the city's first-ever sculpture walk was unveiled Thursday at the Brooksville Vision Foundation's monthly stakeholders meeting.
The venture, which will showcase 10 sculptures, will be a joint effort between the nonprofit group and the city, said Michael Heard, chairwoman of the foundation's events committee.
According to Heard, the walk will include works by both regional and nationally known artists, with the sculptures exhibited on both public and private land near points of interest downtown.
Organizers hope the sculptures will attract visitors and become a focal point for future art endeavors.
"It's all about creating visibility and making the downtown a bit more lively for people who visit and live in Brooksville," Heard said.
In charge of planning the public art venture will be Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery director Rachel Fogarty-Oleson, whose sculptor husband, James Oleson, created several works that have adorned the outside of City Hall.
She said sculpture walks like the one she envisions have proved popular in other Central Florida cities.
"People love art, and the more you make it accessible to them, the more it draws their attention," Fogarty-Oleson said. "I think residents will like it, in that it gives Brooksville some new flair and charm that will have people talking."
Fogarty-Oleson said that she hopes the exhibit will find favor even with the non-art-loving public. To help viewers gain insight, each piece will carry a tag with a QR code that will enable people to use their smartphones to access information about the work and the artist.
While there are still details to work out, Fogarty-Oleson said she has begun to contact artists she believes would be interested in participating. The artists will be paid a stipend to help transport their art and also receive proceeds from the sale of their pieces. The exhibit will be rotated on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, Heard said she is in the process of raising money to build 4-foot-square concrete pads on which the sculptures will be mounted. Additional funding will be obtained through sponsorships of the individual pieces.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.