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Celebrate New Sculptures In Downtown Tyler At Reception Friday 4-7 p.m.

Heart of Tyler

Sculptors whose work was selected for inclusion in downtown Tyler’s first-ever OPAL (Outdoor Public Art on Loan) project will be honored at a reception Friday, Oct. 25, from 4-7 p.m., at Gallery Main Street, 110 W. Erwin St.

Craig Blackmon, Jan Blackmon and Ben Woitena will be the guests of honor at the reception, which will include a special presentation by Mayor Barbara Bass, as well as images of the artists’ work, artist statements regarding their pieces and the gallery’s ongoing “Rose City” fine art exhibit.

“Of course, we will also have music and refreshments for our visitors,” said City of Tyler Main Street Department Leader Beverly Abell. “This event is free, and the public is invited and encouraged to attend in support of this project.”

Earlier in the year, the City of Tyler Main Street Department, in cooperation with the volunteers of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition, issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for artists to submit work to be included in the temporary exhibit of sculpture in outdoor sites throughout the downtown area.

Entries were juried, and five pieces – two by the Blackmons and three by Woitena – were selected. Sites for the sculptures include 315 S. Broadway, the northeast corner of Ferguson and Bonner, the T.B. Butler Plaza, the intersection of Broadway and Gentry, and the plaza area of the Tyler Public Library.

Two pieces have been installed, and the remaining three will be installed today and tomorrow. OPAL is funded by grants from AT&T and the Retail Merchants Association of Tyler.“Without the vision and support of these two groups, this project would not be possible,” Abell said.

“We encourage the public to drop by Friday afternoon to thank these artists for sharing their work and talent with us,” Abell added. “We want them to know how much we appreciate their participation, and their assistance with furthering the presence of the arts in downtown Tyler.”

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