As the Olympic Games get underway in Beijing this week, a local artist has a piece showing in an exhibit that coincides with the events. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
Local sculptor Brad White found out his work would be in the First International Chinese Biennial, an art exhibit coinciding with the 2008 Summer Olympics, not long after he sent curators pictures of sculpture he created for an exhibit held at Louisville’s Swanson Reed Contemporary gallery in May.
The catch? White would have to cover shipping costs for the work. He found an anonymous donor who paid that expense, but after the sculpture arrived in China early last month, customs officials stipulated further costs. That sent White into action.
“I tried contacting all of the different art-related agencies in town and the state and they weren’t able to do anything,” White says. “Their budgets have been cut to the point that they couldn’t help me out.”
White paid the customs charges with a $1,140 loan he got from the Louisville Visual Art Association. He says he hopes the sculpture sells, which would help him repay the loan.
White says his initial inspiration for the piece, called called “Salixtension,” came from nature.
“I’d actually based the piece on willow limbs, and really like the idea of the willow and how resilient they are and just persistence, I guess, which I was kind of dealing with myself,” he says.