Chestertown’s downtown has gotten a little brighter with the addition of two new sculptures from the Peter and Hanna Woicke Sculpture Collection. The Ball and Red Arches has been installed at the southwest end of Cross Street and Taking the Hill has been placed not far away along the Wayne Gilchrest Trail. Adam Walls, the creator of both works, will visit Chestertown the weekend of October 6-7 to talk about his work.
Walls, a professor of art at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, creates sculptures that often evoke children’s toys and play structures. The Ball and Red Arches, he says, “represents the ups and downs expected in life with the suggestion to keep one’s eye and mind fixed on the top to push for something better.” Taking the Hill is part of a larger series of works featuring cartoonish toy tanks and offers a reminder of the pitfalls that can come with blindly following leaders.
An informal “opening” for the sculptures will take place along the Gilchrest Trail from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, October 6, in conjunction with the Downtown Chestertown Association’s First Friday events. Walls will then present an artist talk on Saturday, October 7 at 11:00 a.m. in the Kent Cultural Alliance’s Raimond Cultural Center at 101 Spring Ave. in Chestertown.
Installation of the sculptures was coordinated by the Chestertown Public Arts Committee, which was established in 2019 with the goal of helping to promote and implement the installation of artwork in public places for the enrichment of the community. The committee also seeks to foster educational programming and activities that engage the community and increase the understanding and enjoyment of public art by residents and visitors. Since 2021, it has been coordinating the installation of the Woicke Sculpture Collection, an extraordinary gift of twenty-four outdoor sculptures donated to the town by Peter and Hanna Woicke of St. Michael’s. More information about public art in Chestertown can be found at https://chestertownpublicarts.com/.