Caldwell, NC: Where art is part of daily life

Red Corona Sculpture, Lenoir in Caldwell County, NC (Photo from

By: Carolyn VanBrocklin

Raleigh News-Observer: Caldwell County, NC, is a place full of art, literally.  77 sculptures by various artists are located on street corners, schoolyards, in public parks and along the highways.  It has become a normal part of daily life in the county, a rural area at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The sculptures reflect Caldwell’s character, incorporating its culture, history and values.

The artwork filling the county came from a sculpture contest held each September in J.E. Broyhill Park in Lenoir.  The contest will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year, enticing participants of all skill levels and ages.

Despite Caldwell’s rural setting and the stereotype that such communities do not appreciate such art, the sculptures are appreciated by the residents and contribute to creativity in the community.  There is value as a whole in the sculptures and most residents appreciate the art they live among.

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