Big Rock Garden as City Sculpture Park

Here is a concept paper I submitted to the Big Rock Garden Park Committee. It was turned down by them without them even inviting me to meet with them to discuss it and the possible funding for it. Oh, well, that leaves me more time to work on my stamp collection. gfd

International Sculpture Exhibits At Big Rock Garden Park
A concept paper.

A. I propose that each year the Sculpture Committee of Big Rock Garden Park presents an exhibit of sculpture from Asian nations. Countries invited to participate would include Korea, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, etc.

B. The exhibit should consist of 15-20 works of high quality. Emphasis should be on work by young artists (under 40 years of age) who do not yet have an international visibility.

C. Three days of community hospitality would be offered to any artists who would come for the exhibit opening. International transportation would be at their own expense.

D. The exhibit would be advertised in SCULPTURE magazine and in local art magazines. Press releases would be sent to the major magazines and newspapers of the nations from which artists are selected.

E. Participating artists would be given an elaborate “Certificate of Participation.”

F. All work must be priced for sale. No work will be accepted that is priced over $10,000 (US dollars). BRG will take a commission of 25% of the selling price. [Maximum artist’s net would be $7,500.]

G. The BRG Sculpture Committee would pay for the international transportation of the work to Bellingham and pay for the return of any unsold items to the country of origin at the end of a three year period. Crating of the item for international shipment to BRG Park would be at the expense of the artist.

H. Arrangements could be made with other sculpture gardens in the US to show work unsold from the Bellingham exhibit before its return to the country of origin. BRG would take a % of the selling price of the work if sold in the other venue.

I. A selected number of artists willing to donate their work to BRG would be provided international airfare to attend the opening of the exhibit and provided seven days hospitality in Bellingham area. If a sponsor in the nation of the participating artist would purchase the work and donate it to BRG the same courtesy would be offered the artist. BRG sculpture committee would seek such support from the Cultural Affairs Officer of the embassy of the nation involved, from the US Chamber of Commerce of the capitol city of the nation involved, etc.

J. Each year the focus should be on a different nation without excluding participation from the other countries. The committee should work with the CAO (Cultural Affairs Officer) of the indicated nation, the Minister of Culture of the nation and other such offices to generate substantial financial support for the shipment of at least ten items from that nation.

K. At the time of the Olympics in Vancouver, BC the exhibit should be especially large and well advertised. The committee should go to the city for financial support at that time.

L. An initial fund of $10,000 would be sought from local foundations to initiate this project with continuing support coming from the sale of sculptures from the exhibits.

M. Contacts already exist in several Asian nations to initiate this process for the year 2006.

DISCUSSION:

1. No other sculpture garden or gallery in the US is offering this opportunity for young sculptors from Asian nations to show their work in the US. We can be sure of generating a lot of interest among the artists of the Asian nations.

2. With a focus on the CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE OF ASIA Big Rock Garden Park will become a draw for all visitors to the Pacific Northwest with an interest in sculpture or in the arts of Asia.

3. The nationality and ethnic communities of artists showing in the exhibit that are resident in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver (Canada), etc, would be invited to the show opening. They would be encouraged to contribute to a fund for the purchase of a work by an artist of their ethnic community for BRG Park.

4. Members of the local ethnic communities of invited artists would be called on to provide hospitality for the visiting artist.

5. This focus would not be at the expense of local or regional artists who would still have the opportunity to participate in the annual juried show. In fact, by having the international “draw” local artists would be given an even wider exposure to art lovers and buyers.

6. Most Asian nations have national programs to aid their artists who have an opportunity to show their work in another nation. This aid would be identified through correspondence with the Cultural Affairs Officer of their respective embassies in Washington, DC or the nearest consular office of that nation.

Submitted for consideration by the Big Rock Garden Sculpture Committee on 20 October, 2004 by

George F. Drake
1421 Cornwall Ave. #B
Bellingham, WA 98225

360-734-9757