2014 a Hard Year on Public Arts

This past year hasn't gone well for Sheridan's public arts program.

Public Arts Committee Chair Edre Maier said two statues were damaged, and two were stolen during 2014. The most recent incident was early this week when a driver in an SUV went over the sidewalk and damaged a statue in front of the Downtown Sheridan Association building.

The art committee chairwoman said two sculptures were stolen earlier this year, and a third piece was damaged by vandalism. That sculpture has been sent to a foundry for repair. She said this has been an unusual year.

The sculpture that was damaged earlier this week is called “Cloud Racer.” The art committee chair said she has contacted the artist, Erik Melson of Bozeman, Mont., and is waiting for a recommendation from him on who to contact to get an evaluation of the damage and how to repair it. After that, she said, she can turn the matter over to an insurance company.

The sculpture is one of those on loan to the city. It is available for purchase, and has been valued at $15,000. The piece has been taken to City Hall for storage until a decision is made on where, and how, it will be repaired. The art committee chair said until this year, the only sculpture she remembers being damaged is a piece that was on display in a store window a couple of years ago. She said during Rodeo Week, someone threw a rock through the store window, and the sculpture was scratched.