News & Events

2020 Sculpture Celebration in Lenoir


The Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir presents its 35th Annual Sculpture Celebration, held on the first Saturday after Labor Day. This year’s event is on Saturday, September 12th, 2020. The annual Sculpture Celebration is part of Caldwell County’s heritage and was started in 1985 by Dr. Henry Michaux, a sculpture professor at the University of South Carolina. He wanted to encourage citizens of Lenoir to get out and enjoy public parks all while admiring and celebrating its art sculptures.

The national recognized event officially began in 1986 and since then, the downtown art walk has attracted artists from all over the country. There are more than 80 publicly-displayed art sculptures in Lenoir on display. The permanent collection has been featured in Our State Magazine, the Charlotte Observer and on a UNC TV special.

In 2006, the N.C. Secretary of Cultural Resources, Libba Evans, announced that Lenoir has more public sculpture per capita than any community of its size in the United States. The city of Lenoir is one of the many beautiful mountain towns in North Carolina where Caldwell Country real estate developments attract art enthusiasts.

The annual event will award $11,000 in cash prizes in several categories. Some of the prizes include a $3,000 award for Best in Show and a $2,000 First Place award.

Visitors are invited to attend the Set-Up and Sculptors Welcome Dinner on Friday night at 7pm at the park. While you’re exploring the downtown art walk, be sure to also check out T. H. Broyhill Walking Park located at 945 Lakewood Circle.

Folks can take the permanent walking tour anytime. One of the best mountain towns in North Carolina boosts 20 outdoor sculptures throughout a 2.9-mile walk in downtown Lenoir. Pick up a brochure at the Caldwell Arts Council for the self-guided tour. Don’t miss exploring Tucker’s Gallery located at 601 College Avenue SW inside the arts council.


Friday, September 11:

10am-7pm Park opens for pre-registered sculptors
7pm –  Sculptors Welcome Dinner
8pm –  Introductions, Judge’s presentation

Saturday, September 12:

9am – Exhibition opens; judging begins for awards
10am-3pm – Live Music in the park by various groups
3:30pm– Awards presentation, followed by Judge’s walking tour/talk about winning sculptures
4pm- Exhibition closes

The Baby Boomer generation enjoys gazing and appreciating fine art but they also love to learn about new art techniques, as well as by being inspired by the scenic beauty that surrounds them. Caldwell County offers numerous art classes for people of all ages. Here’s a list of some of the Caldwell County art classes available:


  • Charlie Frye Art Studio in Lenoir
  • Lenoir School of Visual Arts
  • Caldwell County Senior Center in Lenoir
  • Burke Arts Council
  • Florence Thomas Art School in West Jefferson
  • Wine & Design Painting Classes – Hickory
  • Hickory Museum of Art
  • John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown
  • Foothills Visual Artists Guild
  • Me, You and Some Glue Creative Art Studio in Morganton


  • Catawba Valley Community College Potter’s Workshop
  • Caldwell Senior Center in Lenoir
  • Mary Beth’s Quilting Patch in Lenoir
  • Catawba Valley Quilters’ Guild
  • Mary Beth’s Quilting Patch


  • Harper School of Music
  • Hickory Museum of Art
  • Hickory Music Factory
  • Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory

There is no better time for an artist to visit Lenoir than during the annual Sculpture Celebration. Spend the weekend and explore Caldwell County real estate developments in the area to see how one of the best mountain towns in North Carolina is becoming more and more of an art mecca for creative talent than ever before. A good start would be exploring The Coves Mountain River Club, a gated mountain community with elevations that range from 1,040 to 1,700 feet set along the Johns River. Amenities include a mountaintop lodge, infinity-view swimming pool and hot tub, full service equestrian center and two beautiful community gardens.

If you’re exploring the area for the first time, ask for our 70 page complimentary Western North Carolina Visitor’s Guide which provides more information about living in the foothills.

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Exploring the area for the first time?

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The Coves Mountain River Club magazine