New River City Sculptures on Parade display being installed in downtown Mason City

MASON CITY — The new River City Sculptures on Parade display is being installed throughout downtown Mason City today. Founded in 2012, it’s a 1.7 mile walking tour leading people on a looping route lined with pieces of public art.

The founder of the Sioux Falls SculptureWalk, the display that Mason City’s is based on, is on hand to observe this year’s installation. Jim Clark says he helped former director Robin Anderson and the other members of the Sculptures on Parade committee get the Mason City display started.  “Robin and the team here in Mason City got on board. I came over for a visit and met some wonderful people that are still involved. They just took off running with it. I helped them with the logistics, how to get pedestals, help them get artists.”

Clark says the artists love coming to Mason City.  “Here, what’s been magical in Mason City besides the leadership is the sales that have happened here. The artists make sculptures to sell them, and so here, we’re all just amazed about how many sculptures are sold here, and the artists love that part of the program. They love the hotel, they love the hospitality, everybody we meet here is fantastic.”

Clark says the sculpture walks in Mason City and Sioux Falls are family-friendly ways to interact with the fine arts.  “What surprised me the most, the first time I drove through our downtown to see the people taking people of each other with every sculpture. Then also it was the three generations, and the two generations of grandparents and grandkids, and they make an afternoon of it. They go to lunch, they walk around and see the sculptures, they stop someplace and have ice cream. It gives them something that’s outside, exercise, fresh air, cultural, and it gives them something else to talk about.  I was just so happy to see that.”

Clark says he’s proud of how the Mason City display has evolved over the last decade.  “I like the pedestals. They are always picking good sculptures. They are really world class. It’s been a good history and it’s going to be a good future.”

Mason City’s program is part of the SculptureOne Partner Network that Clark helped establish, which has similar sculpture programs not only in Sioux Falls but also in Mankato, Eau Claire Wisconsin and Castlegar British Columbia.

For more information about the River City Sculptures on Parade click here

Listen to our full interview with Jim Clark via the audio player below