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Folkmoot statue could get new home on Main Street

A whimsical sculpture that honors the Folkmoot international dance festival will find new prominence at a different spot on Main Street in Waynesville.

The Waynesville Art Commission approved the relocation of the “Celebrating Folkmoot” for public safety reasons and concerns about its visibility at its meeting last week.

At its current location in front of Waynesville’s new town hall, the sculpture is subject to a wind tunnel effect. The wind serves nicely to rotate several flags mounted on the piece, but also causes a safety hazard.

Flags on the statue have flown off in the past and could potential harm someone or something.

“It’s only happened twice, but that’s twice too many,” said Jan Griffin, chair of the art commission board.

The commission wants to move the statue across the street to the old town hall building, specifically on the left side if facing the building.

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“People really don’t see if up against this building,” said Griffin, later adding that people might enjoy the statue more if it is more visible.

The colossal, metal sculpture, created by artist Wayne Trapp, features a flowing banner-like dancer with seven flags that turn in the wind. The piece, which was paid for through private donations, was dedicated in 2009 as part of a Waynesville public art project.

The commission also discussed building a platform for the statue to sit on, making it more noticeable, and surrounding it by a 3- or 4-foot fence.

“It’s so much more delicate than music men,” Griffin said. That public art installation, made of hefty metal, often becomes a jungle-gym for children and tourists seeking photo-ops.

The fence should deter people from climbing on the “Celebrating Folkmoot” statue like they do the music men but should not detract from the piece itself, commission members agreed.

“We do not want a fence that is not compatible with the art work,” said Bill King, a member of the commission.

Griffin said she did not know how much the move will cost but the money will come from the commission’s funds.

In order to move the piece, both the artist and the town must approve it.

“(Trapp) is more than in favor of moving the piece,” Griffin said.

The commission will address the Waynesville Board of Aldermen in January for approval.

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