The City Of Suwanee includes public art in its economic development strategy, and there are several recent instances that demonstrate that this is working.
Several exhibits from the first two SculpTour displays have been purchased either by the city or by local businesses and individuals.
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Most notable is the People's Choice winner from SculpTour 2011. "Mother & Child" by Eluisa Altman of New Jersey was purchased by the city and .
- raised more than $11,000 dollars from 118 donors through a memorial fund that was established to honor Cathy's late sister, Laura Sanders-Neidlinger, according to Crossroads, the city's official newsletter. The Rohloffs plan to use the money to purchase "Sunset," a 2011 SculpTour piece that was fashioned by Gus and Lina Ocamposilva.
- Ultra Car Wash, which is building a new facility near the Office Depot complex, plans to purchase "Hammer & Nail," a 2011 SculpTour piece by Andrew T. Crawford of Atlanta.
- Advance Auto, which plans to open a new store near Satellite Boulevard and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, plans to purchase "Amne," a 2011 piece created by Harry Zmijewski of Buford. "We want to be a good partner, a good neighbor," said Paul Rondeau, Advance Auto's senior construction manager for the Soutern Region, commenting in Crossroads.
- Previously noted was in connection with its new store on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Satellite Boulevard. The company also preserved some of the picturesque trees on the site, which previously was a private residence.
"Public art is catching momentum," said Denise Brinson, the city's economic development director. "We've achieved a sufficient mass of public art pieces. ... (Public art is) a differentiating factor in where people want to spend time."
Compiled by Steve Burns