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Artist withdraws Main Street gateway project

Rejecting direction from the Hendersonville City Council to redesign his proposed public art piece for the corner of Main Street and Seventh Avenue, an Illinois sculptor has withdrawn his work from consideration.

The decision by artist Bruce White sends the City Council back to the starting line for the selection of the second of two public art proposals. The council during its Dec. 6 meeting authorized work to proceed on a public art piece for the corner of Sixth and Main. Asheville sculptor Berry Bate agreed to tweaks that council members suggested for her fountain project of copper and stone in the shape of mountains.
The City Council planned the two public art projects as part of the city's $1.62 million makeover of the 600 and 700 blocks of North Main Street, the third phase of the infrastructure replacement and streetscape improvements downtown. Council members said White's 24-foot structure, "Cascade," was too abstract for the historic downtown.
Main Street director Lew Holloway in a memo to the council identified three potential options. The council could:
• Decide to go forward with the Main Street work without a gateway piece of art on that corner.
• Opt to "wipe the slate clean and retart the public art process, using a council steering committee and Main Street advisory board subcommittee to guide the selection of an artist. That option would likely make it impossible to add the public art as part of the phase 3 Main Street project.
• Revisit the other seven proposals for a gateway project and invite one or more to submit a concept for review.
The council will take up the question during its Jan. 3 meeting.