Asheville’s first public art sculpture is set to be returned to downtown on Saturday after sitting in storage for several years.
The Energy Loop was placed between the old City/County Plaza space and Pack Square in 1983. Dirck Cruser’s wavy metal abstract piece turned heads when it was first unveiled, and after it was moved to make way for construction of the new Pack Square Park about four years ago, debate raged about whether it should be returned to its downtown home.
In April, Asheville’s Public Art Board announced a new location that everyone agreed upon — a green mound in the center of a plaza along College Street directly across from the Buncombe County Courthouse. Diane Ruggiero, the city’s superintendent of cultural arts, proposed the location, and city and county officials gave it the go-ahead. The plaza is owned by the county.
“There are so many people who have waited so long for this moment,” Ruggiero says. “I’m really excited that the sculpture’s coming back.”
The sculpture has been housed in the Barnardsville workspace of artist R.S. Gursky. It will be loaded onto a truck Saturday morning and hauled into Asheville to its new resting spot, according to Ruggiero. Another artist, Stefan Bonitz, will oversee the sculpture’s installation. The plaza location has been prepped and is ready to receive the Energy Loop, Ruggiero says.
Ruggiero says the sculpture will be officially dedicated as part of the kick-off of this year’s Bele Chere festival in a nod to the sculpture’s history. The Energy Loop was originally dedicated 26 years ago on the first day of Bele Chere.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor