4 pieces of public art that may take Shoeless Joe’s place in West End Plaza

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The plaza in the West End by Smoke on the Water restaurant, where the Shoeless Joe Statue once stood, will have a 3D sculpture in summer 2018.

Four finalists presented their proposals this week to the City of Greenville’s Art in Public Places Commission for a piece of art it is commissioning to replace the Shoeless Joe Jackson statue in the West End Plaza.

Eighty-two artists submitted qualifications for the project and the commission narrowed the list to four.

The guidelines said the artwork would require a “degree of transparency in materials and/or form so daylight and views are not obstructed.” A lighting component needs to be integrated into the design for illumination, making the artwork visible at night, the guidelines said.

The city intends to redesign the plaza in concert with the new art piece.

Commission Chairman Sean Scoopmire said he expects a decision to be made at the commission’s Aug. 24 meeting.

Here are the works and their creators:

Michael Szivo

Szivo is the founder and owner of SOFTlab, a New York City-based design studio that has produced projects across almost every medium. He proposed a sculpture that includes metal “ribbons” to pay homage to Greenville’s textile industry. The sculpture is interactive in that is has bench seating on the inside of its base.

Michael Kalish

Kalish is an artist who has made likenesses of Marilyn Monroe and Mickey Mouse out of license plates, used firearm parts to create an anti-gun violence sculpture, and taken 1,300 punching bags and crafted a three-story 3-D sculpture of Muhammad Ali’s face. The artist’s proposal includes eight large steel pieces that contain silhouettes of a couple biking, a family walking, and a couple kissing inside of brightly colored steel pieces shaped like the Greenville skyline, Paris Mountain, and an inverted Liberty Bridge. Kalish told commissioners the piece, called “Interact with Greenville,” reflects the feelings he had after visiting Greenville.

Adam Buente and Kyle Perry

Buente and Perry are co-founders of ProjectOne, a Muncie, Ind.-based digital design and fabrication studio. Their piece, called “Kwilt,” references the historic importance of Greenville’s textile mills and how they are being woven back into the urban fabric. The artists said these once important symbols of the city’s economy are being transformed into something unique and distinct from their initial use.

Po Shu Wang

Wang is a California-based artist who has done more than 30 public art projects. He is designing a sculpture that will overlook the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club. A sensor in the river will measure the speed of the current and the height of the river, and send the information to a tower that will convert it to sound. Wang’s Greenville sculpture would include make sound through resonators that would be activated by a person moving a handle. Wang said the sound would be heard only by those in close proximity.

The commission said the proposals aren’t necessarily exactly what the sculpture would look like. The city has budgeted $90,000 for the art.

The Shoeless Joe Jackson statue is now in front of Fluor Field.

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