New Sculpture Park in NC

North Carolina is getting a new sculpture park in one

of its most southern counties. The establishment of this

new park is being spearheaded by the non-profit organization

Jumbo Arts International – founded and led

by professional visual and performing artists. They are

forming a partnership with the COMtech Business Park,

where the facility will be located.

Discussions about this sculpture park have been ongoing

between the Jumbo Arts team and COMtech’s

Executive Director, Ryan Nance, since mid-2014. In

October of 2014 the Jumbo team met with the COMtech

Board of Directors to formally present the idea

of a sculpture park. The Board voted unanimously to

approve and begin the initial steps to place sculpture in

the business park.

Presenting to the COMtech Board were members of

the Jumbo Arts Board of Directors, Margie Labadie and

John Labadie, as well as others involved in the planning

of the sculpture park. Margie Labadie, President

of Jumbo, is an adjunct faculty member in the UNC

Pembroke Art Department. John Labadie is Professor

of Digital Fine Art at UNCP. Adam Walls, Associate

Professor of Sculpture at UNC Pembroke discussed his

creative experiences with sculpture parks in several

other states. Gary Morin, Corporate Assistant Director

of Resources for Human Development (RHD) also

spoke. RHD is a non-profit healthcare provider working

with Jumbo Arts to establish an art and sculpture

making facility for adults with Intellectual and Developmental

Disabilities.

During this meeting, emphasis was placed on the

inherently positive nature of sculpture parks on the

regions in which they are situated. Many sculpture

parks are major tourist attractions, economic engines

and job creation sites. The Jumbo team underscored

the fact that there are no sculpture parks within 100

miles of the COMtech Business Park, which is ideally

located to attract visitors. COMtech is situated only

three miles from the heavily traveled intersection of

I-95 and I-74.

A health conscious, community non-profit partner,

COMtech is already establishing a series of walking

and hiking trails in this park filled with trees and

scenic lakes. It’s broad center lane will potentially

feature many of the sculptures while others will be

placed strategically throughout the park for future.