Brookline artist John Weidman stands with his sculpture “Interrupted Scream,” one of the art works going up in downtown Meredith this summer.
MEREDITH — Downtown Meredith, already known for its attractive buildings and shops, is now getting artsy.
The first art pieces of the new Meredith Sculpture Walk are being installed on sculpture “pods” that are being set up in visible spots around town by the Greater Meredith Program.
By summer’s end, 24 sculptures by New England artists will be in place, as the program makes further improvements to its award-winning downtown area, said Elizabeth Lapham, executive director of the Greater Meredith Program.
The artworks will be replaced with new sculptures each year until the town’s 250th anniversary in 2018.
“We think this will be a terrific energizing draw to the downtown area,” Lapham said.
Lapham’s husband, Bev Lapham, said the idea is to draw the thousands of drivers passing through town during the summer months to stop to get a better look at the downtown area.
“In the summertime, Meredith grows in population from 6,000 to about 35,000 people,” he said. “It’s a win-win for the town, it’s great for artists and it’s great for us, it should bring more attention to our beautiful downtown.”
The idea came from two art exhibits that were erected by businesses downtown two years ago.
“We realized there was a place for more public art in Meredith,” Bev Lapham said.
Program officials put out a Call to Artists on April 15 to about 200 artists in New England. They received 33 applications from artists, and now have 51 pieces of sculpture to choose from. All are on loan from the artists, and will be returned next year and replaced with new art.
A Greater Meredith Program “jury” chose the art works carefully, he said.“The jury was very cautious to avoid anything too controversial, and we made sure not to have too many sharp edges on the sculptures for safety reasons,” he said.
Among the artworks that went up Wednesday was a sculpture of a giant hand called “Advantage” by sculptor Steve Green of Lee. It was made using granite from Milford.Program officials said they will be creating a walking map for visitors to tour the artworks, which will have plaques bearing the name of the artist and artist’s website.