Those who travel past the corner of Seventh and Poplar streets might be in for a surprise this winter.

Art Spaces Inc. has found another sculpted masterpiece and anticipates installing “The Gatekeeper” at the corner on the Vigo County Public Library’s grass.

Artist Sally Rogers of Penland, N.C., along with officials from Art Spaces Inc., were on scene Wednesday with a “moquette model,” or prototype, of the artwork to determine just the right spot.

The piece is tentatively titled “The Gatekeeper,” because it will signify the entrance to the Arts Corridor, said Bev Cristee, vice president of Arts Spaces Inc.

“This really is going to be a stunning addition to the Arts Corridor, and it’s just absolutely gorgeous,” Cristee said.

Art Spaces is a not-for-profit organization working to establish a collection of public outdoor sculptures in Terre Haute and the Wabash Valley.

If all goes as planned, the granite-and-stainless-steel sculpture will be installed by the end of January, she said.

David Vollmer, executive director of the Sheldon Swope Art Museum, said the ground must be tested by city officials before the site can be approved for the installation.

Vollmer said this project has been in the works since 2003, and he is excited to see it nearing its final stage.

As part of the selection process, a committee, consisting of art experts, community members and Art Spaces board members, submit a call for artists that includes what the organization is looking for, as well as site-specific information.

Artists then submit moquettes and proposals, and the committee chooses the artist and the piece.

“It’s not designed in somebody’s studio and then just plopped down. They are made for that space,” Vollmer said.

Art pieces displayed within a community help build the community’s identity and will make the city more attractive to its residents, according to the organization.

Rogers said her pieces of art are based on what communities want.

The “Gatekeeper” will be designed in a way that offers room for interpretation.

Rogers’ pieces are not readily-identified figures or objects, she said.

The sculpture will be 26 feet wide and 14 feet tall, she said. People will be able to walk under it, “like a portal,” Rogers said.

Laura Followell can be reached at (812) 231-4253 or laura.followell@tribstar.com.

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