UNIQUE ART INSTALLATION RAISES WILDFIRE AWARENESS

Sculptor Herb Williams creates wildfire crayon sculpture at the National Ranching Heritage Center

Lubbock, TEXAS (September 2011) - The National Heritage Center (NRHC)
is proud to announce its newest exhibit "Unwanted Visitor: Portrait of
Wildfire" opening October 7. THe outdoor art installation is the work of
internationally-known sculptor Herb Williams of Nashville, TN. Williams
will use Crayola crayons to create multiple freestanding, three-
dimensional sculptures representing wildfires that are then meant to melt
in the Texas weather conditions.

This is a new type of exhibition for the NRHC that will raise awareness
about a serious environmental ranching concern in a very unique way,
and hopefully, continue to bring more attention to the current wildfire crisis
in Texas. The exhibit opens on October 7 and will run through the end of
the year at NRHC.

"A variety of educational programs for children and adults will occur
throughout the exhibit," said Emily Arellano, project coordinator and
manager of education at the NRHC. "The focus will include raising
awareness about the causes of wildfire both environmental and human,
the effects of wildfire on the environment, wildfire prevention, and the
purpose of prescribed burning."

Williams will construct the large sculptures, some eight-feet tall, onsite at the historic park and museum's Historical Preservation Building starting a week before the installation opens. Because each sculpture is made of wax, it will melt and change shape in the hot outdoor conditions. Moreover, each piece of art will continue to be altered by blowing wind and dry conditions such as those that affect the intensity and duration of real wildfire. The colorful crayons will provide a striking contrast to the dry, brown landscape and be reminiscent of an actual wildfire.

"I am very excited about creating sculptures that are so relevant to their environment," Williams said. "The idea of using such a child-friendly medium to convey a very adult situation speaks to the importance of educating the larger public about the prevention of wildfires. I hope that in the strange, beautiful qualities of using and melting tens of thousands of crayons to portray such a destructive subject, I can capture the focus of enough individuals who might help to change the current epidemic in the West."

The installation will open to the public on Friday, Oct. 7 during a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Williams will be present to talk about his art with visitors. The installation will be located in the NRHC's Proctor Park near the Jowell House and Mail Camp.

This program has been made possible by support from Dr. Lou Dunn Diekemper, Rip Griffin Inc., Edson and Jenny Way, the Sally Murray Family Trust, Lubbock Arts Alliance and Louise Hopkins Underwood. This project also is supported in part by the grant from the Texas Commission of the Arts.

The National Ranching Heritage Center is a museum and historical park comprised of 48 authentic dwellings and outbuildings from some of history's most important ranches. Structures on the 16-acre site have been authentically restored and furnished and date from the late 1780s to the 1950s. The NRHC is located on the north boundary of the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock, Texas. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday and has no admission fee, although donations are accepted. To learn more about the NRHC, visit www.NRHC.ttu.edu.

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