Explore the Collection

The Permanent Public Sculpture Collection

Art that invites touching. In our parks, of course. At Town Hall, surely. Next to the baseball diamond, wow! From wildlife to engaging figures, a permanent collection of public sculpture is being created in the historic village of Summerville, South Carolina, just outside Charleston.

 

Whether you’re resting on a park bench beside “Toby” the retriever, visiting the baseball field and “Dreamin’ of the Big Game,” stopping by Town Hall to honor “Everyday Heroes,” or finding your place in a life-size game of “Follow the Leader,” Summerville, South Carolina has some outdoor, public sculptures that will warm your heart and stir your imagination.

Since its beginnings in 1999, Sculpture in the South has installed 25 figurative bronzes in the permanent collection. Enjoy the photos of these permanent sculpture pieces and read the inspirational stories of how they came to be -- and we sincerely hope you have the opportunity to see these exceptional works of art in person. For more information regarding the installation and purchase of sculpture call the Sculpture in the South office or use our Contact form.

Hop To it – by Kim Shaklee

This sculpture was unveiled on September 22, 1999, as the first piece of sculpture purchased for Summerville by Sculpture in the South. Our frog is in good company. Another frog from the edition of twelve that Ms. Shaklee produced was installed in Washington, DC’s National Zoo at the Smithsonian the week before the Summerville unveiling. Of course, we think our Hop To It has the better view!

Toby – by W. Sandy Proctor

That friendly-looking Labrador retriever beside the bench is actually a bronze sculpture by Tallahassee artist, W. Sandy Proctor. And the woman beside the “Lab” is Joann Brooks, who donated the sculpture to Summerville.

 

Joann works for the Summerville Chamber of Commerce, and she decided to obtain the sculpture to honor and celebrate the life of her late husband, John, who was won over by the unconditional love of a yellow Lab that appeared one day when John was quite ill.


The dog, who they called Toby, remained with John during his entire illness and then disappeared shortly after John’s death. A few days later, Joann discovered Toby waiting for her in her garage. When she let him out the next morning, he walked around the house once and then sat down in the front yard, just looking at her. “When he got up and walked away,” Joann remembers, “I knew I’d never see him again. I called to him, but he never turned around. It was as if he’d come to say goodbye.”


Now Toby is the never-wandering companion of anyone who relaxes on this special bench in Azalea Park, and he is a wonderful reminder of the power and comfort of a pet’s presence.

Follow The Leader – by W. Stanley Proctor

Location: Azalea Park – #3-#8

The third sculpture to be installed in Azalea Park was Follow the Leader, sited in February 2002. Engineered to allow and even encourage children to have contact with the pieces, the bronze life-sized images of five playful children and their dog are featured on a low serpentine brick wall near the amphitheatre in Azalea Park. Follow the Leader is the work of artist W. Stanley Proctor, and was a favorite at the 2000 Sculpture in the South Show & Sale.


After eighteen months of persistence and patience, contributions and grants, this beautiful grouping came to Summerville, made possible through the generosity of hundreds of remarkable people in our community and a substantial grant from the Saul Alexander Foundation.

Anticipation and Whisper on the Wind –
by Diane D. Mason

Location: Azalea Park – #9 & #10

Dr. David Price and his mother, Jean, purchased Anticipation and Whisper on the Wind in memory of David’s father. The two bronze sculptures depict life-sized foxes, one alertly sitting and expectantly licking his lips and the other standing only on his two hind legs, curiously sniffing the air.

 

Neighbors have told us they have seen a pair of foxes scampering through the east side of Azalea Park near to where the foxes are installed. This pair nestles near some of the azaleas for which the park is named.

 

The dedication was held on November 8, 2002.

For Wind and Waves – by Robert Allison

Friends and family of the late Jack Wilbanks, former Town of Summerville administrator, purchased For Wind and Waves in memory of the well-loved town leader. Jack had a life-long love of reading, and was impressed by the bronze sculpture depicting a little girl seated on a wall and reading a book when he saw it in Azalea Park during the Sculpture in the South 2001 Show & Sale.

 

Dedication took place November 29, 2002, on the east side of Azalea Park. (As an aside, Robert Allison's depiction of the young reader also included a cat. Jack did not appreciate cats and therefore only the girl was purchased.)

Dreamin’ of the Big Game – by Bobbie Gentry

This sculpture depicts a kneeling 6-year old boy with baseball and glove, his face beaming as he imagines making the game-saving catch. This 24” bronze was donated by a group of 3 individuals from Summerville, and rests on its own “home plate” at the entrance to Summerville’s Gahagan Soft Ball Fields. Installation took place on January 10, 2003.

Fantasy Flight – by Bobbe Gentry

Proceeds from the Sculpture in the South 2002 Show & Sale were used to purchase the eighth piece of artwork. Fantasy Flight, a 48-inch high bronze reflects a young woman’s dream of freedom, with a bird lifting in flight from her hand. Located at the Chamber Welcome Center, it is from an edition of ten. Installation took place on May 9, 2003.

Everyday Heroes – by Robert Allison

This larger-than-lifesize sculpture of a firefighter was commissioned in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 as a means to express appreciation to all of our public safety personnel: firefighters, police, sheriff’s department and EMS personnel.

 

Created by South Carolina native Robert Allison, it is installed in the small park behind Town Hall and was dedicated on November 19, 2003, the one-year anniversary of the day a Summerville police officer and Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy lost their lives helping a disabled motorist. Following the deaths of nine firefighters battling a blaze in Charleston, this sculpture provided a focus for the community’s grief.

Heron and the Sun – by Darrell Davis

The 7-foot bronze sculpture depicting a majestic heron, head lifted to the sky and basking in the sun, garnered great interest when it was first introduced to Summerville at the 2003 Sculpture in the South Show & Sale.

 

During the Show & Sale, the native bird was featured in a temporary horticulture installation, showing show visitors how to include sculpture in their home gardens.

 

When installed in Azalea Park, Heron and the Sun was sited to face east, resting on an underwater base that was built between two islands in a brick-lined pond, where dozens of yellow-bellied slider turtles make their home.

The Garden – by Susie Chisholm

This is the 17th bronze sculpture in Summerville’s permanent collection. This life-size bronze depicting a mature woman seated serenely in a twig lawn chair is integrated into the surrounding landscape in the center of historic downtown Summerville in Hutchinson Park. “The Garden” faces the new Town Hall Complex, and looks with hope and optimism toward the future. Looking at “The Garden,” viewers form a connection with the wisdom and dignity handed down from a previous generation.

 

Sculpture in the South is grateful for the generous support of Mary Beth Nethercutt, Holly Gaughf, Tommy Socha, Mr. and Mrs. James Millar of Atlanta, Otis Engelman, and Mabel Goodyear. “The Garden” was selected from a field of 20 proposals submitted from sculptors who took part in the 2006 Sculpture in the South Show and Sale. Susie Chisholm is a native of Savannah and is in demand for her remarkable gift in creating figurative sculpture and portraiture.

Antonio – by Wayne Salge

This imposing sculpture is 8.5 feet tall and features sharp angles, smooth planes and an opportunity for the imagination to create its own response. This is a contemporary interpretation of the human form with arms upraised. The figure is reaching beyond itself, in relationship to others or in sheer exultation. The installation at the Jerry Blackwell Sports Complex at Gahagan has encouraged viewers to consider it both prayerful and exuberant, communicating both strength and optimism. Installed in 2008, dedicated 2009.

Free Ride – by Paul Rhymer

Free Ride appears as a life-size hippo protruding above the surface of a pond, with a bird perched on the hippo’s backside. The bird is a Purple Gallinule, native to both the southeast United States and to southern Africa. In addition to the bird, warmer months and sunny days usually feature a collection of large and small turtles on the hippo’s back.

 

Dedicated March 2, 2007, “Free Ride” makes its home in Shepard Park, which includes a small tot lot, gazebo, and a walking trail with a small bridge crossing the pond. Shepard Park is located at the intersection of Parkwood Drive and Simmons Avenue.

 

Free Ride is the creation of artist Paul Rhymer, who became a sculptor through his work as a taxidermist and model maker at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. “Free Ride” is the gift of Mr. and Mrs. James J. Reaves, Jr., long-time supporters of Sculpture in the South.

River Rapture – by Kim Shaklee

This magnificent sculpture was installed in October 2009, through the generous support of Mead Westvaco Corporation, Sculpture House and Chavant, Inc. This flowing bronze sculpture stands seven feet tall and weighs nearly 6,000 pounds. Depicting a single otter gliding under water, the long reeds of the papyrus and turtle-friendly pond welcome the otter home.

Mayor Berlin G. Myers – by Garland Weeks

This bas relief of Mayor Berlin G. Myers was installed in June 2010. Friends of Berlin commissioned the bronze to honor the years of dedicated service Myers gave to the town of Summerville. The plinth is installed near the Town Hall and its Annex. An exterior site was selected to allow viewing of the sculpture during the day or at night.

 

Click here to discover the newest sculptures added through the B.I.R.D.S. Program:

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