New outdoor sculptures decorate Lawrence; reception coming up on Final Friday

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Seven new outdoor sculptures have become part of the Lawrence aesthetic. The city will soon host an opening reception and walking tour to celebrate them.

This year’s Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition, like other recent years, spans well beyond downtown.

One work still on display from 2023 can be found at Theatre Lawrence, 4660 Bauer Farm Drive, and a new piece is nestling into Prairie Park, 2730 Harper St.

“ThereThere,” by Suzan Hampton, is a reusable structure that holds native clay perennial seed pods, according to the brochure about the exhibition.

“Over time, the seeds disperse with wind, rain and animal (including human) interactions to land in a bed of black biochar from burned invasive plants harvested at the site and inoculated with local mycorrhizae (fungi) that improve soil health,” according to the brochure. “This symbiotic relationship reflects the beauty of humans helping plants, plants helping prairie, and prairie helping humans.”

Pieces for the annual exhibition are selected by the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, one of the city’s advisory boards. Many of the works stay in place for about a year; four of the 2023 works are now on “encore display,” according to the city.

The city’s opening reception and walking tour — free to attend and open to the public — are set for 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 31. The tour will begin at the eXplore Lawrence Visitors Center, 812 Massachusetts St.

People can also see this year’s artworks or conduct their own self-guided tours by using the Otocast app, available from the App Store and Google Play.

Learn more on the city’s website, Here’s the full brochure (click here to open it in a new tab):


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