Carmel adding to its Seward Johnson sculpture collection

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Carmel is already home to the largest collection of J. Seward Johnson sculptures not associated with the New Jersey-based artist’s hometown, and soon it will install several more.

The City of Carmel has ordered five new J. Seward Johnson sculptures, similar in style to this one near the Indiana Design Center. (Photo by Ann Marie Shambaugh)

The Carmel Board of Public Works on Dec. 19 approved $354,000 to purchase five of the lifelike sculptures, ranging individually in cost from $65,000 to $78,000. The cost does not include shipping or installation charges.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the new sculptures will be installed in the Midtown and Arts & Design District areas.

“People love them, and they interact with them. When it’s about to snow I see them pop up with stocking caps and scarves and sweaters,” he said. “Constantly I see people taking pictures with them. That’s what public art should do. It should stimulate a conversation and be fun.”

The new sculptures are called Captured, featuring a woman reading on a bench; Shaping Up, a girl jogging while listening to music; Monet, Our Visiting Artist, Monet painting at an easel; Wine, Food and Thou, woman with picnic basket; and Strolling Professor, a man walking with an open book.

The Seward Johnson Atelier only makes a limited number of each sculpture. Brainard said he enjoys occasionally seeing sculptures during his travels that remind him of home.

As of press time the city did not respond to a request for comment on the specific locations and installation dates for the new sculptures.

View the sculptures at sewardjohnsonatelier.org.

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