Coni Mayer could see the impact from the windows of her office at Second and Madison streets in downtown Decatur.
During the past year, people would stroll by carrying the maps to the artworks on Decatur's first sculpture walk. Some had come from out of town just to see the sculptures. Others were checking them out during some free time while in town for a wedding or other family event.
“I did get a lot of very favorable comments (from residents),” said Mayer, a member of this year's sculpture tour planning committee and executive director of the Adams County Community Foundation. “They felt like the sculpture walk has brought kind of an awakening to the downtown area.”
People will have even more reason to visit when the 2013 Decatur Sculpture Tour unveils nearly 20 new works of art at 1 p.m. Saturday during a day of festivities. The unveiling also will feature a surprise, Mayer said.
The sculptures will be located along two historic blocks of Second Street and along a portion of Monroe Street, an event news release said. Other events Saturday include a children's chalk walk 11 a.m.-3 p.m., an outdoor concert 7-9 p.m. at Riverside Center and the Old 27 Film Festival at The Old 27 Ice Cream Shop on Second Street.
The sculpture tour grew out of a sculpture exhibit Fort Wayne artist and Decatur native Greg Mendez held during the summer 2011 Kekionga Festival in Decatur, the release said. The Adams County Public Library then commissioned Mendez to create a sculpture in memory of a longtime library volunteer.
That sculpture was received so well it sparked discussions about creating a sculpture walk, the news release said.
Organizers also hoped to attract more visitors to Decatur and to encourage Decatur residents to enjoy art and their downtown, Mayer said.
Last year's event featured eight outdoor and four indoor sculptures, which were placed around the downtown area.
Organizers changed the name of this year's event to a sculpture tour because it will include more artworks and a wider area in which they are displayed.
No city or other tax dollars are used for the project; all funding comes from donations and sponsorships, Mayer said.
This year, the tour will feature 13 outdoor sculptures and six indoor pieces, Mayer said. They were created by artists from Fort Wayne, elsewhere in Indiana, and from Ohio, Missouri and Minnesota.
The sculptures, which are for sale, must stay in place until May 2014.
A portion of sale proceeds goes to the Decatur Sculpture Tour Committee to help cover the cost of future tours and eventually to buy art for the town.
Several of last year's award-winning indoor and outdoor sculptures also will be displayed at Adams Memorial Hospital, which is located on Mercer Avenue about 1 1/2 miles south of downtown Decatur, Mayer said.
She estimates it will take about an hour to an hour and a half to walk and see each piece on the tour.
Maps of the tour will be available about a week after the unveiling, she said. One place to get a copy will be a reused newspaper box at Second and Madison streets on the Adams County Courthouse square.
Maps also will be available at sculpture sponsors' locations, the news release said. The list of sculpture locations and sponsors is at www.decatursculpturetour.com.
One new event this year will be The Old 27 Film Festival, which is being organized by the Brune family, owners of The Old 27 Ice Cream Shop.
The film festival was one of the ideas that came up when residents brainstormed about ways to bring more people to Decatur and to give residents more to do, Charlie Brune said. His wife, Jean, serves on the sculpture tour planning committee.
The Brunes, with the help of their son, Jason, decided to try holding a film festival this year.
“We put it out there. We don't know where it's going to land,” Charlie Brune said, adding that they have no idea how many people will enter.
Registration opens at 2 p.m. Friday. Beginning at 3 p.m. that day, entrants have 27 hours — until 6 p.m. Saturday — to produce a nine-minute video.
When they register, people will be given a list of 27 things divided into three categories of nine, Charlie Brune said. They have to use three items from each category in their video. Videos also should be rated PG or G.
Finished videos will be viewed by judges and screened for content, Brune said. They then will be presented in a free showing at 9:27 p.m. Saturday on the wall of a building adjoining The Old 27 Ice Cream Shop. Bring a chair or blanket for seating.