Eau Claire (WQOW) - With 53 sculptures spread across downtown Eau Claire, this season's Sculpture Tour Eau Claire will be the biggest yet.
The Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is a walking art exhibit with unique pieces from artists all across the U.S. This year there are 53 sculptures, which include the people's choice winners from the last two years and other permanent pieces. According to the executive director of the tour, Julie Pangallo, this is the second largest tour of this type in the country.
"We will have 53 sculptures on the tour this year. That includes people's choice from the last two years and other permanent ones that are in the footprint," Pangallo said. "That makes us the second largest tour of this type in the country. So, I think that gives us bragging rights. It's pretty impressive for a town this size. That tells you how much art is a part of the thriving economy here."
Pangallo says it costs over $100,000 to run the tour. "People wonder what it costs to run a sculpture tour," Pangallo said. "We pay each artist for use of their work. That doesn't include insurance, that doesn't include vandalism, that doesn't include any of our operating costs. So, it takes a lot and thankfully we have sponsors that are supporting the tour, and that's what makes it happen. It's really about the community saying 'we want this' and stepping up sponsoring sites along the path."
The installation started at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning and wrapped up by the early afternoon. Pangallo expects signage to be in place by the weekend and brochures out in the next month. This is the eighth season of the tour. The works of art will be in place for 11 months.