Art On Broadway

Man, what a difference a few years and a ton of great ideas can make!  We love the revolving art sculpture displays that now line Broadway Street in Downtown Cape.  The artwork is a true reflection of Cape—strong concept, forward thinking, and creative.  We decided we would find out more about the sculptures and try to meet up with a few of the local artists who have their work on display.  Chris Wubbena holds a B.F.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.F.A. with an emphasis in Sculpture from San Francisco State University.  He is currently a professional sculptor and Professor of Art at Southeast Missouri State University.  His work has been exhibited in outdoor and indoor venues throughout the United States.  

Please tell us about your piece.

Victoria is steel sculpture that represents a critical look into the true definition of victory.  With a triumphant rise nearly ten feet tall, the abstracted winged form appears to be both taking flight and falling to the ground, with its weight becoming more than the pedestal below can support.  In the end, the eroded form stands monumental and its wings still stretch beautifully, as if they’re finally about to break their frozen geologic definition.   

How can we be supporters of the arts?

Everyone can support the arts simply by allowing themselves to reserve opinions long enough to attempt any kind of understanding.  You don’t need to be an artist to be able to read art; you just need to open yourself up to the experience, challenge yourself to witness something new, and venture out of your comfort zone.Ben Pierce grew up in Cape Girardeau. He has a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Southeast. Growing up, he spent a lot of time with his dad, a third generation bricklayer. While his father worked, little Ben played in the sand piles.  Today, Ben is still getting dirty and nothing feels more manly than cutting and welding metal and adding brick.  

Tell us about your sculpture:

The sculpture in downtown Cape on Broadway is titled “Lineage” and is welded steel with paint and bricks. I am so happy to be part of Cape Girardeau’s first sculpture exhibition, especially since I was born and raised here. This sculpture was actually part of my senior show for my Bachelor’s degree. I created a series of four sculptures that all had brick as an element in them. I wanted to pay homage to my family’s roots and a large part of who I am today. I wanted the brick to be more than just a construction material—I wanted to showcase the brick and elevate it to “Fine Art.” You look at a small brick house and think “oh, that looks nice”—but to realize that even in a small house there could be over 15,000 bricks and each one was laid by hand, one by one. There is to shortcut or machine to lay bricks.  I want to incorporate this diligence in my own work, and in this particular sculpture I wanted them to be the star, as a little nod at my family history.

Tell us about your upcoming show:

The arts council recently contacted my brother and me, who also does sculpture, to do a show at the local casino. This opportunity is in no small part due to the success of the sculpture exhibition and the positive reception by the community. Hopefully, it will be the first of many new things happening in Cape as a result of the sculpture show—and not just sculpture, also painting, printmaking, ceramics. Cape is filled with other talented artists.The 2014 Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition was juried and hosted by the Public Art Committee.  The committee consisted of two local artists and representatives from the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, Old Town Cape, the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cape Girardeau.  By hosting the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition on Broadway, the Public Art Committee hopes to increase the number of arts-related activities within the region and provide an additional revitalization strategy for Old Town Cape.


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