A new set of exhibits has rotated into Palestine's downtown for the 2017-18 edition of Main Street Art Tracks.

Now in its sixth year, Art Tracks trail continues to beautify and enliven downtown Palestine with innovative and decorative art.

The idea for the trail began in 2010, after sculptor Dale Montagne visited Palestine. He offered Jean Mollard, Jackson Hanks, and others a vision of sculpture art as a downtown attraction. The idea, Montagne told them, was to install train motifs or railroad history in Palestine’s public spaces.

The group then formed Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., a nonprofit group to provide and encourage parks and the arts in Palestine. In 2012, the group, along with Palestine Main Street, hosted its first Art Tracks Trail.

Each year, artist are invited to send their applications with photos for selection. Selected artists will receive a $500 stipend for expenses; $2,000 in prize money will be awarded to select entries later this year.

Since the first show, 72 sculptures have graced Main Street. The new exhibit features 18 diverse sculptures created by 12 artists. They will remain in Palestine for the next year. After that, some pieces will go up for sale.

Many of the exhibits can be purchased for private display or given to the city for the sculpture park under development across from the Visitor Center.

A committee, made up of members from Palestine Main Street and Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., reviews each application and submitted piece of art to ensure the display consists of only the highest-quality artwork. Installed in prominent downtown areas, it's called the Main Street District.

Each piece for the outdoor exhibit was chosen for quality, workmanship, and family-friendliness. Each exhibit has been widely eclectic, with a mixture of elegance, modern art, and green art.

During the sculpture tour, check out the base of each sculpture, utilized for the initial exhibition. This unique touch was created from actual railroad wheels donated by Union Pacific Railroad. These stands serve as the “cohesive design element for the exhibit.”

The PTI is working to create and establish a rail-themed park in Palestine that could include additional static displays of historic railroad equipment. “Forging History” will move to the railroad park, where it will remain on permanent display.

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