Huge sculpture, huge opportunity

Larger than life Lincoln is here for the summer.Visitors can take a selfie with Abe.

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How to go

What: “Return Visit,” monumental bronze sculpture

Where: Miami County Courthouse Lawn, West Main Street, Troy

When: Opening Sunday, May 3; 2 p.m. public reception

Admission: Free

More info: or 937-339-5455

The Sculptures on the Square biannual art exhibit always is a big deal for downtown Troy.

This year’s exhibit, centered on a monumental 30-foot, 40,000 pound bronze sculpture featuring President Abraham Lincoln is expected to be even bigger, offering “a huge opportunity for Troy,” said Katherine Hayes, executive director of the Troy Main Street downtown advocacy organization.

The sculpture, “Return Visit” by Seward Johnson, is on loan from the Seward Johnson Atelier Inc. and brought to town by a Troy Foundation grant. Johnson’s life-size bronze sculptures of people in every day activities have dotted the downtown in earlier exhibits.

“This will be a great summer,” said Diana Thompson, executive director, Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau. The exhibit comes during the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination and the end of the Civil War.

News that the sculpture would be coming to town for its first display outside of the artist’s retrospective exhibit in New Jersey, sparked a number of other public events. Among them will be a “Remembering Lincoln” exhibit May 3-May 31 at the Troy-Hayer Cultural Center just west of the Courthouse and a Civil War Memorabilia display at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum in the Masonic Lodge building to the east of the county facilities.

A Lincoln Film Festival is coming beginning in June at the Mayflower Arts Center downtown and Main Street is holding a Penny Art Contest and Exhibit to feature work of students in grades six through 12.

“Everything fell together when we chose to go down this road,” Thompson said of the Sculptures on the Square committee.

The lawn of the 1880s Courthouse was chosen for the display “because it in itself is so beautiful,” she said. The exhibit will feature a suggested spot for visitors to take a Lincoln-and-me selfie, Thompson said.

“We expect the sculpture to draw thousands of people to downtown Troy and, since the exhibit is open during our summer event season, we expect many of those visitors to stay in Troy to experience the events,” Hayes said.

Among those participating in the Sunday opening activities will be Scott Trostel, a Miami County author whose books have included The Lincoln Funeral Train and The Lincoln Inaugural Train.

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