Editorial: The Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden brings art outdoors to the masses

There are few area attractions that are almost always open, always free and usually interesting. Fortunately for us, there's one such place right here in Dalton.

On the campus of the Creative Arts Guild (520 W. Waugh St.) is the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden, a collection of 50 sculptures and art pieces. The sculpture garden recently added 12 acquisitions, breathing new life into the grounds of the Creative Arts Guild. The pieces came from all over: Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The addition of the new sculptures to the outdoor garden is part of a two-year process that also includes conservation, landscaping and illumination. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the sculpture garden, the only place in the state with a collection of permanently sited public art.

The garden is open year-round from dawn to dusk with no admission fee as part of the Guild's commitment to making the arts accessible to everyone. In 2017, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution rated the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden as one of the six best places in the South to see outdoor sculptures.

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shuttered many museums and arts guilds across the country. While some locations have reopened, many art enthusiasts are hesitant to attend indoor galleries due to virus fears. By being outdoors, people are able to keep their social distance while enjoying art at their leisure. That's why sculpture gardens such as ours in Dalton are so critical to continuing the love of arts and culture during the pandemic.

"The pandemic has shifted visitors away from traditional museums, but sculpture gardens offer the opportunity to move at your own pace and keep a comfortable distance," Webb told the Daily Citizen-News last month. "There's nothing like this sculpture garden anywhere else in Georgia."

We couldn't agree more. When you have time, we recommend checking out the Robert T. Webb Sculpture Garden.

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