A Lawrence artist likes the accessibility of the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
Ardys Ramberg's "Soliloquy" is the sole sculpture by a Lawrence artist in this year's Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition.
Her steel creation -- a rusty Hamlet-like figure with his arm reaching out as if he were making a speech to himself -- stands in front of the Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth.
"I started with the upheld arm and torso and then I found pieces that complemented," she said. "The form suggested the name."
Ramberg said she began working on the sculpture 10 days before the competition's Feb. 15 deadline at a studio she shares with Motti Mattsson in North Lawrence.
In addition to "Soliloquy," Ramberg has two other public artworks in Lawrence: the gigantic fish suspended in the Riverfront Plaza Factory Outlets and "Ballad of Brook Creek" at the East Lawrence Recreational Center.
She particularly savors the idea behind the downtown sculpture display.
"I like that every single person of the community has access to the artwork," she said, adding that the exhibit gives children whose parents do not take them to galleries or museums a chance to see artworks up-close.
"Children are getting an opportunity to see that things can be made out of other things," she said. "It may strike their fancy and lead to different approaches in the future. Figures and forms standing out in space -- personally, I feel it makes the world more pleasing."
From an artist's perspective, she said, the outdoor exhibition gives sculptors a chance to examine how the selected artists use various materials, approach their projects and put their sculptures together.
In turn, the selected artists get to bask in the spotlight for a year.
"It pleases me to have (my work) appreciated," Ramberg said.
About four years ago, Ramberg's "Rusty," a steel sculpture of a Scottie dog, was picked for the exhibition and later sold to a Lawrence couple. She hopes "Soliloquy" will be purchased, too.
"Unless someone gives it a home, it will be in my back yard," she said.
Ramberg's artistic expertise is in high demand. She currently is working on a set of wedding rings, a lightning rod, an outdoor garden window of copper and steel, and an illustration for the cover of a poetry book.
-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.