Finding the next public art

The art that greets visitors traveling in and out of Clinton’s main west corridor will change soon — and that design is being left up to the public, with three options on the table and a deadline to make a selection.

In the spring of 2023, partners Sampson Community College, the SCC Foundation, the City of Clinton and the Sampson Arts Council agreed to install a community-selected public art sculpture pad in SCC’s Sampson Park East, just off NC 24 (Sunset Avenue) . Scheduled to change annually, the artwork is currently “Waterdrop” by Hanna Jubran, which will bid farewell at the end of the summer.

Community voting is currently open to replace the screen part. Voting is open until May 3.

“Waterdrop” first took its place in SCC’s Sampson Park East in August 2023. Just one month later, in September 2023, Jubran returned to Sampson to install the second of his public artworks “Land , Water, Fire, Wind”. which was erected at All-American Park in Clinton, just off Fayetteville Road.

The installation of these sculptures – both also the result of a public vote – sparked a plan by local partners to make the idea of ​​more public art a reality. This plan is now underway.

A call for artists was issued in February for the next piece of public art, and the Public Art Initiative Committee narrowed the choices down to three sculptures designed by Benton & Sons Fabrication, Jim Gallucci and Hanna Jubran. Installation of the selected part will begin in August.

Options include:

• Midsummer (17’x10’x6′) by Hanna Jubran, described as “a sculpture designed to identify the moment of outdoor celebration”

• Steel Butterfly (14 meters long) by Benton & Sons, “one of the most finely crafted steel lawn sculptures in their collection”.

• Digital Gate II (measuring 14’x6’x2′) by Jim Gallucci, which is said to “emphasize the age of computing with bytes of information coming and going.”

Votes can be cast at

Born in Israel, Jubran currently works as Professor of Sculpture and Coordinator of the Sculpture Area at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Holding an MFA in Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Jubran regularly participates in international art shows, addressing concepts of time. movement, balance and space in his creations.

Benton & Sons Fabrication is a family-owned business that has operated in the fabrication and assembly of large steel components since 1983. Located in Pikeville, NC, they also specialize in lawn art, ornaments and sculptures – famous in their area for their line “Benton Dinosaurs.”

For more than 40 years, Gallucci has created sculptural pieces that have been exhibited throughout the US and abroad. A graduate of Syracuse University with an MFA in Sculpture, Gallucci has completed over 50 public art commissions, taking pride in his design of benches and gates.

Local officials have promoted the public art initiative as a way to bring something new and vibrant to the community, as well as draw interest locally and outside of Clinton and Sampson counties.

“Public art provides something unique to our communities and is freely accessible to people,” Kara Donatelli of the Sampson Arts Council said last year. “So we’re hoping they come out and look the part and get close to it. We hope to drive by and see people taking pictures with it. There’s also an economic impact associated with public art, as it really brings people from outside the community into the community so they can see it.”

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