Appeal to build a sculpture for Norwich

Jon WelchA charity appeal to raise �165,000 towards a sculpture to celebrate the Norwich School of Artists has been launched in the city.Jon Welch

A charity appeal to raise �165,000 towards a sculpture to celebrate the Norwich School of Artists has been launched in the city.

Sculpture for Norwich, a new charity established to promote public art and sculpture, plans to commission the work in memory of artists including John Crome, John Sell Cotman, James Stark and Joseph Stannard.

The sculpture will stand in St Martin at Palace Plain, in front of the house where Cotman, one of the key members of the Norwich School, lived and exhibited his paintings.

Guests gathered at The Hostry, in Norwich Cathedral, for an event last night to launch a campaign to raise �35,000 locally for the initial phase of the project.


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Organisers have already received �10,000 towards this total from the Norfolk Contemporary Art Society and Norwich Society. The money will go towards commissioning agency fees and project administration expenses, and for maquettes and an exhibition.

Another �130,000 will then be sought to pay for the sculpture and materials, with any extra money raised being put towards later projects.

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Sculpture for Norwich plans to seek funding from national foundations, charities, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council, but wants to raise the initial sum locally to demonstrate strong local support for the project.

Chairman Keith Pollard said: 'It may seem a lot of money, but we want a sculpture which Norwich will be proud of and which will generate interest way beyond the city boundaries.

'We would like something of the effect that the Angel of the North has had on Newcastle and Gateshead, and that public art has had on Glasgow.'

Mr Pollard said the Norwich School of Artists, founded in 1803, deserved more recognition and that the work would help fulfil the movement's original ambitions, which included promoting sculpture, as well as other forms of art.

'A civilised society must have art in public places to make people stop and think about something other than grossly materialistic commercial activity and all that goes on in ordinary life,' said Mr Pollard.

'If we play our cards right and make our case, we have a realistic chance of achieving our goal.'

Key speaker at the launch event was Isabel Vasseur, a major figure in the public art movement since the 1980s.

Anyone interested in subscribing to the public appeal is invited to email sculpturefornor-wich@googlemail.com. Visit www.sculpturefornorwich.co.uk for more information.

What kind of sculpture do you think would be fitting to celebrate the Norwich School of Artists? Write to Letters, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewslet-ters@archant.co.uk.

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