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"Busted Plug" sculpture moving; fate of "Tunnelvision" mural uncertain

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AgFirst is donating the "Busted Plug" fire hydrant sculpture to the city of Columbia. The company will also donate $25,000 to relocate the 40-foot piece of art currently on Taylor Street. The deal with the city for the sculpture comes as AgFirst prepares to move into its new headquarters on Main Street. Putting “Busted Plug” at the new site — the former Bank of America building — isn’t feasible, Ann-Lamar Tuten, an AgFirst spokeswoman said. “It couldn’t go with us,” she said. “We’re donating the ‘Busted Plug’ to the city so that it can be relocated to a more visible location with more room.”

So where do you guys think it should go?

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Perhaps the big triangular area of Finlay Park at Taylor and Gadsden would be a good spot.  Blue Sky said on the news that ideally the water would spray out and create an arch that you could drive under.  Maybe it could be an arch that you can walk or bike under once they extend the Vista greenway from Finlay Park to Elmwood Avenue.  

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Uncertainty surrounds the fate of the "Tunnelvision" mural on the side of the AgFirst building. It might be obscured if the parking lot adjacent to the building is developed, or the building itself could be torn down. Hopefully that last option is a non-starter since the building is historic and would be a significant loss.

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I wish that Columbia had more public art. Here is another example of how Greenville is moving forward with interesting projects and is re-inventing itself with a larger urban vision. Here is a list of all the outdoor sculptures in Greenville:


“Annika’s Rush” – the open suitcase is designed to hold Greenville guidebooks when the convention and visitors bureau is closed.


Carillon – In the plaza by the Hampton Inn is a carillon featuring 25 bronze bells.


“Charles Townes” – A Zan Wells sculpture at the corner of Main and Camperdown honoring the inventor of the laser.


“Fabric of Hope” – Gateway arches at the beginning of Brown Street.


“Il Porcellino” – a full-sized replica of a statute in Florence, Italy in the Poinsett Plaza.


“Interval: Mountain Fall” – Phillip Whiteley’s two towering metallic spires in the corner of the Poinsett Plaza designed to portray the mountains.


“Joel Poinsett” – Zan Wells’ sculpture in front of the Poinsett Hotel honors the man who brought the first poinsettia to the U.S. from Mexico.


“Max on Main” – A Tom Durham statue of the late Greenville mayor, surrounded by storyboards that tell the story of Heller’s escape from the Holocaust and role in the revitalization of downtown Greenville.


“Meditation and Reminiscence” – Sculptures by Tuan Nguyen at [email protected]


“Mice on Main” – nine mice sculptures that can be found in a five-block stretch of Main Street between the Hyatt and the Westin Poinsett Hotel. The series was the senior project of Christ Church Episcopal student Jimmy Ryan.


“Nathaniel Greene” – A statue at the corner of Main and Broad honoring the Revolutionary War hero.


“Orbital Trio” – a John Acorn sculpture in front of the Hyatt in NOMA Square.


“The Path of Becoming” – a brick sculpture that meanders down the sidewalk on South Main just north of Falls Park across from the Peace Center.


“Paradigm Pathway” – A Stephen Kishel sculpture near the amphitheater behind the Peace Center.


“Past, Present and Future” – Three brick reliefs by Brad Spencer located at South Main Street and McBee Avenue on the side of the CVS.


Poinsett Society water fountain – designed by architect Kirk Robins Craig and located in front of the Greenville Symphony building.


“Rising Star” – A sculpture by Bob Doster at the corner of Main and College Street. Jeweler llyn strong traded several pieces of her jewelry to obtain the sculpture for Greenville.


RiverPlace fountain – one of the largest public fountains in the Southeast located along the Reedy River.


“Sterling High Students” – a sculpture by Mariah Kirby-Smith portraying two students descending the steps of Sterling High, Greenville’s first black public high school.


“Thoughts on the Walk” – Twenty-eight quotes in the sidewalk from Poinsett Plaza to the Westin Poinsett.


“Vardry McBee” – T.J. Dixon’s statue near Court Street and Main that honors the man who is often called the “father of Greenville.”


For complete article, see:

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OneColumbia, chaired by one of Columbia's brightest, has embarked on increasing Columbia's collection of public art.  In the meantime, don't miss these:


Cancer Survivors' Sculpture - Maxxy Gregg Park


Boyd Plaza's fountains and sculptures


AIDS Memorial Sculpture - Koger Center


Kirkman Finlay on the bench in Finlay Park


Hootie and the Blowfish sculpture - Five Points


Busted Plug - stay tuned


911 Memorial - Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center


The Chain between Cowboy Brazilian Steak House and Sylvan Jewelers


The Gamecock next to Mellow Mushroom


The Ape Meter Maid on Main at Washington


Lady Liberty in the park in front of Christopher Towers


Finlay Park Fountain


City Hall Fountain


Five Points fountains on Saluda


Colonial Life Arena fountain


Gobs of sculptures on the State House grounds


Gobs of USC fountains and sculptures


Historic Houses sculptures, fountains and gardens


Tunnel Vision, the mural next to the Flying Saucer, and many other murals around town


Memorial Park's sculptures


Riverfront Park sculptures


Decorated Bike at McMaster School of Art


Dorothea at McMaster School of Art


Eco Chambers at EdVenture Children's Museum


Environment, Energy and Conservation sculpture at EdVenture


Jubilaeus - I forget where


The Liberty Bell replica - I forget where


The Maxxy Gregg Park maze


Palmetto tree sculptures around town


Passages - Richland County Judicial Center


Stone of Hope at Martin Luther King Park


Wishing Well at Maxxy Gregg Park



Public art is easy to take for granted when it's all around you.  We can look forward to more of it.


Here's a list.

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Thanks for posting that, Corgi. There is truly no shortage of public art in Columbia and more is being added on a consistent basis. More recently you have the 9/11 memorial sculpture by the convention center and the Hootie and the Blowfish piece in Five Points; go back a few years and you have the Boyd Plaza centerpiece fountain/sculpture. The landscaped corner lot across from First Citizens hosts temporary art works, and you have the "Before I Die" global exhibition coming to Columbia in the near future as well.


Here's the One Columbia initiative Corgi spoke of, which shows that Columbia already values public art and is working to make it an even higher priority:

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