artist: Albert Paley
materials: corten steel, stainless steel, bronze
Gift of the McGee Foundation.

This magnificent sculpture is located in the plaza circle in front of the Clay Center. It stands at 64 ft. tall, nearly as tall as the Clay Center, with a diameter of 40 ft. The piece was donated by the McGee Foundation in the name of John and Ruth McGee in honor of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. H.T. McGee and Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Bouknight, and Lyell Clay.

World-renowned metalworking artist Albert Paley of Rochester, NY designed the sculpture.  Paley has been active as an artist for more than 30 years. Commissioned by both public institutions and private corporations, he has completed more than 50 site-specific works. Some notable examples of his work are the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the Portal Gates for the New York State Senate Chambers in Albany, a plaza sculpture for AT&T in Atlanta, Ga. and a sculpture and plaza designed for Adobe Systems in San Jose, Calif. Visit the Albert Paley Studio.

Installation was Sept. 8 - 30, 2009.

photos by Lauren Good



Festival delle Arti 

artist: Harry Marinsky
materials: bronze with patina
Gift of Angus Peyton

Enjoy the sight of the magnificent outdoor bronze sculpture, Festival delle Arti (Festival of the Performing Arts), located in front of the Clay Center at the corner of Lee St. and Leon Sullivan Way. Imagined by the nonagenarian sculptor Harry Marinsky, the art is a work of passion. The sculpture is a contribution from Angus E. Peyton, a retired attorney and former West Virginia State Commerce Commissioner. From any vantage point in the spherical piece, a delighted series of six bronze figures dressed in performing arts costumes parade around a central bronze tree. Each individual represents something exciting about the performing arts and the sculpture as a whole is intended for children to explore first hand.

Sculptures by Marinsky are found in France, England, Japan, Switzerland, and Italy. In the United States, they can be seen in Colorado, California, Connecticut, Texas, South Carolina, and now West Virginia. The project required a devoted and loyal team of individuals who came together as the Clay Center's Sculpture Advisory Committee. The stated mission of these individuals is very obvious in the sculpture itself: “We will present a timeless sculpture that will express the wonder of the Clay Center. We intend to engage all ages with sculpture that is appropriate, inviting, fresh, uplifting and magic.”

We hope you enjoy Festival delle Arti.

photos courtesy of Tina Totten King and Lauren Good


artist: Arthur Gibbons
materials: welded steel
1988 purchased funded by The Collectors Club

This 9-foot tall, 1,200 pound outdoor sculpture is comprised of seven interlocking steel pieces. Created by New York artist, Arthur Gibbons, LABAC communicates movement, tension, compression and expansion through abstract forms. The title of the sculpture, LABAC, is "cabal" spelled backwords. A cabal is a small group of individuals involved in a secret plot. LABAC combines ideas from Gibbons' earlier sculptures in addition to his state of mind while he created this particular piece. When asked to comment about how he creates one of his sculptures, Gibbons said, "A sculptor must be many things a diplomat, salesman, machinery mover, welder and must know a lot about construction."

Gibbons realizes that each person likes or dislikes an artwork for various reasons. Expectations and life experiences influence how a person responds to a sculpture. Gibbons said, "To find someone who loves sculpture is rare. It's not architecture. It's not utilitarian. It's there for other reasons. Someone once said a sculpture is what you catch your pants on while you're busy looking at a painting."

LABAC was originally installed on the front lawn of the Sunrise Museum in Charleston, WV. It now stands in the Maier Sculpture Garden at the back side of the Clay Center near the corner of Lee and Brooks streets.

funding provided by: accessibility: find us on: contact us press room privacy statement email sign-up employment

WV Division of Culture and History WV Fund for the Arts national Endowment for the Arts

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