We recently installed the sculptures selected in our third annual outdoor sculpture competition and exhibition. HAPA’s panel of artists chose six striking outdoor sculptures to be exhibited for one year, through September 2018. Approximately 60 entries, from 14 states, were submitted. Winning artists were paid a generous honorarium, and the Mary Dixon Montague cash award will be presented to the work deemed best in show.
The works have been installed in downtown Hattiesburg at the Historic Train Depot, the Forrest County Courthouse, the dog park at Fourth and W. Pine Street, the former Hattiesburg American site on Main Street, and in Town Square Park.
Any artist wishing to receive the prospectus for future exhibits should email us at HattiesburgPublicArt@gmail.com and ask to be placed on our sculptor distribution list.
Clifton Cox earned a BFA from the University of Kentucky and pursued graduate studies at the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A competitive athlete and swim coach for 25 years, he has only recently returned to his passion of creating sculpture.
“My experience as an athlete and coach informs much of my sculptural work,” he explained. “When I put on my boots and get ready to create, I approach it very much like putting on soccer cleats and getting physical, getting ready to accomplish something.” His work reflects physical movement and combines intricate abstract shapes with organic forms, capturing the energy of a moment.
“This work, for me, represents that moment when you realize that your soul or source isn’t trapped in a single life form for a single lifetime. Our energy moves on.”
James Davis currently serves as studio technician at The University of West Georgia, a position he previously held at The University of Southern Mississippi. He earned a BFA in sculpture at Southern Miss and MFA from East Carolina University. Davis has exhibited in five countries and has works in private and public collections throughout the South. His “Dugan’s Riff” was the first sculpture purchased for HAPA’s permanent collection. In addition to sculpture, Davis builds furniture and does custom metal and woodwork. In 2013 he was selected as one of ten artists to participate in the Stone, Wood, Iron International Sculpture Symposium in Heredia, Costa Rica. In 2014 he was one of two artists featured by Festival South, Hattiesburg’s multi-genre arts festival. His most recent commission, in 2016, was a monumental sized stainless steel work for the city of Kenner, LA.
“This sculpture has taken on new meanings since it was conceptualized,” Davis said. “Originally, it came from a specific experience I had to go through, one I didn’t want to go through, the loss of a friend.” He explained that he created a passage that viewers might hesitantly walk through so that they, too, could experience the feeling of going through something difficult. “We all have to go through these things we don’t want to. Of course, they’re different for each person. Recently, with the political environment in this country, this piece speaks to me about how much better this world would be if we could show a bit more compassion to each other.”
Andrew William Denton is Artist-in-Residence at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL, where he teaches sculptural welding. He earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and MFA from East Carolina University. His outdoor sculpture and pottery have been exhibited across the Southeast and Midwest and he has twice been awarded the Regional Artist Project Grant for Pitt County, North Carolina. Denton manages visual arts for the summer program at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, and his work was recently shown in Lake Effect, an exhibit of the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort, MI.
“My work frequently combines ceramics and metal fabrication and often derives from my interest in contemporary spirituality,” Denton said. “I’m intrigued by the intangible emanations that surround living beings. In this piece, I explored archetypes and the auras emanating from one body and connecting it to another.”
Richard Herzog is a sculptor and installation artist creating nature-inspired works that mimic organic patterns and highlight humankind’s disconnection from the environment in which we live. His works have been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in almost 100 group and solo exhibitions.
“My work explores botanical forms, the patterns found in nature, and the lack of interaction between man and nature,” Herzog said, noting that he doesn’t create work with a political agenda. “I don’t have the answers. My role is to bring awareness to this society in which we live and to encourage the viewer to consider our world more intentionally.”
Nathan Pierce obtained his B.F.A. in sculpture at Southeast Missouri State University. His works reflect his interest in architectural forms, his family’s multi-generational involvement in construction, and the difficulties inherent in communication. His work has been displayed in juried exhibitions and outdoor sculpture programs across the Midwest including the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit and Sculpture Walk Sioux Falls, where he won the purchase award, and the Skokie, Illinois Northshore Sculpture Park where he was the recipient of the 2013 Lewis C. Weinberg Award. His “Firehouse” was featured in HAPA’s inaugural sculpture exhibition where it was exhibited on the lawn of the Main Street Fire Station.
Pierce’s recent works call to mind some type of foreign communication device, its appendages reaching out to send or receive signals. “In this modern world where we constantly feel more connected through technology, we’re ironically disconnected as a result of these devices,” Pierce explained. “My works also speak to our desire to be understood in our communications.”
Joni Younkins-Herzog’s sculpture has been exhibited throughout the United States and in Italy, Columbia, Peru, Poland, and Ghana. She earned a BFA in sculpture at the University of Georgia and MFA at Indiana University and has served as professor at the State College of Florida, New College, and Ringling School of Art and Design.
“My sculptures are hybrids, mythologies, and metaphors about flowers,” she said. “I lure the viewer in with luscious colors and abstract feminine forms so they’ll contemplate the work in close proximity.” Her sculpture conveys a curiosity about science, medicine, and the quest for human perfection. The human body is displaced but retains recognizable features and speaks to the feminine mystique.