sculpture walk v2

Erie Arts & Culture assisted the Erie Downtown Development Corporation to plan and implement  the first-ever Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk, a year-round outdoor exhibition of art. This privately funded initiative was curated by a panel of local leaders, art enthusiasts, and Downtown stakeholders. The Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk features 15 sculptures in Downtown Erie and the Bayfront, representing the work of 13 different artists from throughout the United States. The inaugural set of sculptures are on display through August 2023.

Program goals include:

  • Curate a temporary outdoor exhibition of original artwork, creating more access points for residents and tourists to engage with the visual arts.
  • Use artwork to enhance the visual landscape in Downtown Erie and the Bayfront.
  • Assist local pandemic recovery efforts by stimulating additional interest in returning to Downtown Erie.
  • Serve as a pilot program that can be replicated in other neighborhoods and communities throughout Erie County. 

Thinking Critically About Public Art: A Guide

We recognize that all the pieces represented in the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk may not resonate with everyone. We believe that within the exhibition, each person who experiences it can find 2-3 pieces that appeal to their tastes. Furthermore, we hope that the exhibition stimulates deeper thought and conversations around what is art, where does it belong, and who deserves access to it. 

As you participate in the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk, we encourage you to think critically about public art. We've created a handy guide to assist you in the process. The questions we encourage you to reflect on are intended to assist you in moving beyond immediate responses such as "I like/don't like it" and "I don't get it." 


Critical Thinking Questions

Wondering how to experience the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk? Here are some of our suggestions, but certainly it's not limited to these recommendations. 

  • Gather together your friends and family members and walk the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk as a group. 
  • Stimulate the minds of children outside of the classroom by walking the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk and asking them thought provoking questions designed to promote creativity and imagination. 
  • Grab a coffee to-go and walk the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk to pass time between appointments.
  • Pair the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk with Downtown's dining and entertainment options for a memorable date night. 
  • Use the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk as a low-impact way to get your recommended daily steps when pursuing your personal health and wellness goals. 

Logistical and Installation Support Provided By:

TH logo

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Please use the interactive map below to locate the sculptures

Learn more about the sculptures and their creators

Affable - David "DW" Martin - Bayfront Promenade

Material: Sheet and linier steel stock, aluminum, and oil base enamel paint
Purchase Price: $3,200
Artist: David "DW" Martin (Edinboro, PA)

Artist Statement: 
This particular sculpture is the investigation of coupling the human figure with an inanimate object. It is my intention to use figurative form in relationship to the chair, and create a vocabulary between the two, while also hoping to develop a visual conversation with my audience by developing a surface that emits a visual noise using line, color and the physical mark.

In this sculpture I have continued to investigate movement in the form pushing the inanimate into animate, perhaps anthropomorphism.

Tricky Situation
Tricky Situation - Matt Miller - Erie City Hall, Urban Rain Garden

Materials: Steel, acrylic and powder coat
Purchase Price: $10,500
Artist: Matt Miller (Cape Girardeau, MO)
Instagram @1718pricestudio

Artist Statement:
To figure out which side of the grass is truly greener, one must first grasp what green really is...

Phoenix - Adam Garey - Erie City Hall

Materials: Fabricated steel
Purchase Price: $13,500
Artist: Adam Garey (Yardley PA)
Instagram: @adamgareysculptor

Artist Statement:
Four I-beams are the central elements of the sculpture Phoenix. These were not new beams, they were discarded parts no longer straight or structural for standard construction and pitted from years in the elements. I chose to give these elements new life and meaning through my sculpture process. Now manipulated with bends, twists, and sections cut away for aesthetic reasons. Combining the old and discarded with newly fabricated forms to demonstrate growth and rebirth.

On the side of each beam, Phoenix USA is stamped from its manufacturer. I found this a very fitting title for this sculpture. Just as a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor so have these pieces of industrial history in this sculpture.

Spindrift - Dan Perry - E Dobbins Landing

Medium: Painted aluminum, stainless steel, and heat colored stainless steel
Purchase Price: $10,450
Artist: Dan Perry (Waterloo, IA)

Artist Statement:
The imagery in my work is an amalgamation of familiar and abstract imagery constructed in dynamic compositions and forms. I shift scale and perspective to challenge the viewer to question their physical relationship to the world around them and contemplate their surroundings. I draw inspiration from architectural forms and details and try to find ways to recontextualize them sculpturally. “Spindrift” represents a moment suspended in time where a various forms and movements collide much the in the way waves lap against the shore. The angular architectural forms complement the softer organic shapes to present colorful dialog of forms and movement.

Threshold - Gregory Johnson - 100 State Street

Materials:  Mirrored stainless steel on a stainless steel base
Purchase Price: $39,500
Artist: Gregory Johnson (Chicago, IL)
Instagram: @gregoryjohnsonfineart
Facebook: Gregory Johnson Fine Art

Artist Statement:
William Shakespeare quoted, “The object of art is to give life shape”. I start my sculptures with a circle and then shape the steel into unique, elegant forms. My work often involves geometric shapes that suggest emotions, nature, and water.
Threshold is an entranceway into imagination, perhaps suggesting a doorway, key lock mechanism, or window. 

Zig Zag Boogie Woogie - Bill Wood - Gannon University, Mary Seat of Wisdom Chapel

Materials: Polished Stainless Steel
Purchase Price: $17,250
Artist: Bill Wood (Edinburg, VA)

Artist Statement:
I wanted to make a piece that was different from every viewing angle. I wanted the piece to interact with, and become part of the space it occupied. On sunny days Zig Zag Boogie Woogie takes over the area with bright reflections and bold dark shadows. Cloudy days it seems to withdraw. 

Flat Curves II - Jennifer Rubin-Garey - Erie Art Museum

Materials: Fabricated stainless steel
Purchase Price: $15,000
Artist: Jennifer Rubin-Gaery (Yardley, PA)
Facebook: Jennifer Rubin Garey

Artist Statement:
My work focuses on the female figure and how we choose to allow ourselves to be judged by standards of appearance. These standards are self- imposed in response to societal expectations and our own innate need to conform. When we let these pressures push us out of true we are shifted off our personal foundations. Our true form may or may not be consistent with the contemporary idealized image of a beautiful, successful woman. Clothing such as high heels and corsets reform the body into an unnatural shape, which may paradoxically be considered the ideal. This corset is simply a three-dimensional silhouette, which implies the building or creation of a woman and reinforces these stereotypes and gender roles.

Big Sky - Nathan Pierce - Erie Insurance

Materials: Epoxy coated Structural Steel
Purchase Price: $36,000
Artist: Nathan Pierce (Cape Girardeau, MO)
Social Media: @NSPsculpture

Artist Statement:
I love the surprise that we get from seeing out of the ordinary things in ordinary places.

Things that are out of the ordinary help bring awareness to our surroundings and creates an opportunity to reimagine our sense of place. The relationship that these pieces have with the environment communicate to the viewer. It is this connection that helps activate our imaginations and helps us see the world differently

The abstract contemporary forms of Nathan Pierce's public art installations are softly rooted in the notion of technology and communication, and the role that it plays in everyday life. His sculptures, no matter the surrounding landscape, offer a counterpoint to the viewers perception of place. Through the combination of displaced geometric form and subtle organic curves these sculptures relate to an environment through the push and pull of our social perceptions of confinement and freedom.

In this modern world, where we constantly feel more connected through advancements in technology, I believe that we are simultaneously disconnected as a result of these devices. By using public art as a vehicle for expressing contemporary issues concerning communication, I see the concept for my work becoming more relevant every day.

Depth of Form - Jacob Burmood - Bayfront Convention Center

Materials: Cold Cast Aluminum sculpture
Artist: Jacob Burmood (Kansas City, MO)
Instagram: jacob_burmood_sculpture

Artist Statement:
Depth of Form is an abstraction of the fluid dynamics of the human body, with the undulating edges and creases emphasizing that movement.

Twist - Brian Peters - Raymond M Blasco MD Memorial Library

Materials: 3D printed stoneware (glazed) blocks, stainless steel structure
Artist: Brian Peters (Pittsburgh, PA)

Artist Statement: Inspired by Erie's maritime history and the blues and greens of the Great Lakes, Twist evokes the beautiful curving lines of twisted rope that can be found mooring boats to the shore. It is a fluid and dynamic sculpture that is composed of 18 unique blocks that stack on top of each to form the complete installation. Each block was carefully crafted in stoneware ceramics using a custom 3D printing process that I have been perfecting for years. Once printed, each block was refined by hand, kiln fired, glazed by hand, and then kiln fired once again before being expertly assembled on site. I hope it sparks joy to all who see it along the shores of Lake Erie.

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