Horse racing isn’t the only aspect of Saratoga Springs that gives the city its appeal. There’s art, too.
The National Museum of Dance, located on South Broadway, will be unveiling 25 5-foot-tall, fiberglass ballet pointe shoes on Friday, which will be placed around the city in mid-June. The sculptures will be similar to the horse sculptures currently scattered throughout Saratoga. This is the museum’s attempt to bring art back into the spotlight in Saratoga.
“What inspired it was that Saratoga doesn’t just have horses and that they only last six weeks here,” said Donna Skiff, director of the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. “There’s a lot of art here and we wanted to bring the art to the forefront.
“This started when the president of the board [Michele Riggi] wanted to have more than just horse racing,” said Skiff.
The project started in January when the museum began pairing statues with local artists and sponsors. Some sponsors have donated their shoes to other places around the city, while others will keep their statues on-site. Approximately 13 of the statues will be on Broadway.
The unveiling at the National Museum of Dance will not only include the 25 completed sculptures but also the grand opening of the renovated Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Hall of Fame. Plans call for nine more ballet shoes, bringing the total to 34 sculptures. But the museum has yet to match sponsors with artists for those shoes.
“It’s a fundraiser for us,” said Skiff. “It’s to help us maintain momentum for the exhibits and beautiful building here.”
The sculptures will be placed around Saratoga after June 10, when the bases for the sculptures arrive at the museum.
The event Friday will begin at 6 p.m. at the National Museum of Dance and Hall of Fame. On Friday, there will be a small exhibit inside featuring the sculptures. The museum also will be holding Facebook contests involving the sculptures once they are placed in their new homes in June.