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Artist’s Public Sculpture Exhibit Turning Heads On Upper West Side

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Artist Peter Woytuk says he hopes the statues will make people think or bring a smile to their face. (credit: CBS 2)

Artist Peter Woytuk says he hopes the statues will make people think or bring a smile to their face. (credit: CBS 2)

Cindy Hsu thumbnail Cindy Hsu
Cindy Hsu is an Emmy Award winning anchor and reporter who has been at...
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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Even with all the traffic and noise in New York City, you can’t help but stop and stare at the sculptures hitting Broadway.

Heads are turning over some of the wild animals popping up on the Upper West Side.

Artist Peter Woytuk is putting the finishing touches on 19 sculptures that stretch along Broadway — from the bronze elephants at Columbus Circle to the bulls at 166th Street.

“I was like ‘wow,’ it’s amazing,” Yasira Asaris told CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu.

“I love it, it’s fun. New York City needs humor,” John Hart said.

Woytuk said the goal is to try to integrate Broadway and “bring one community Uptown and the other community Downtown.”

There’s a map that will lead you through the public exhibit that stretches five miles through the Upper West Side and it has lots of people excited.

Woytuk created the sculptures at his foundry in Thailand, where he now lives. Some of the pieces took him as long as a year and a half to create. This exhibit shows 30 years of his work and it’s all about fun.

“Some laughter and some good feeling for everybody and we’re really happy New York is letting us do this,” William Morrison of The Morrison Gallery said.

You can learn more about each piece through audio tours in English and Spanish. You just call the number on your cellphone and the artist will tell you about each particular sculpture.

While you’ll see a lot of animals and fruit in the exhibit, Woytuk said there is no particular theme, just a very simple goal.

“If somebody can walk away thinking about something and take something with them and smile, then I feel I’ve done my job,” Woytuk said.

If you fall in love with any of the sculptures, the price tags range from a few hundred thousand for the smaller pieces to more than $1 million for the elephants. Or you can just enjoy them for free.

The exhibit costs about $500,000 to install and is covered by the Morrison Gallery, which displays Woytuk’s work. The sculptures will be up through April.

Have you seen the sculptures?  If so, what do you think of the idea? Which is your favorite?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

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