Dozens of modern art sculptures have been installed in downtown Knoxville - and several other locations - for the fourth annual Art in Public Places exhibit, a part of the Dogwood Arts Festival.

Friday's debut of the large-scale art pieces generally wowed the downtown crowd, including visitors to Knoxville.

"I really like it, actually," said Tom Winspear, a Bristol, Va., college student from Yarm, England, visiting Krutch Park with his girlfriend, Jessica Tharpe, and her family. "I'm not particularly an art expert, but it's pretty cool to look at."

A handful of tourists stopped for photos during the lunch hour Friday in Krutch Park, which has eight of the sculptures, several of which are made for climbing and sitting.

"I think it's gorgeous. I love art and anything artistic," said Michelle Murray of Chattanooga.

Her two young girls, 6 and 8, climbed on a piece called "Mother and Child," by artist Gordon Chandler. It is a large 8-foot chair topped with a small child's chair. Her mother, Dorothy Payne, snapped the girls' pictures.

Gail Rumph of Quincy, Fla., sat across from "The Storyteller," by Mike Roig, a steel bench with a painted steel human form reading a book.

"To me, coming to Knoxville for the first time, it catches your eye, makes you more interested in the area," she said. "This is very peaceful. The art is really nice."

Thirty-four modern sculptures are in seven locations around Knoxville, according to Dogwood Arts Festival Executive Director Lisa Duncan. They are each for sale and range from $700 for the welded steel "Snowflake" in Krutch Park by Andrew Brewster to the $35,000 aluminum "Winter Moon" by Ray Katz, displayed at the ORNL Federal Credit Union in Bearden.

Weighing thousands of pounds each, they have been installed throughout the week by cranes and will be displayed through Oct. 31, according to Duncan.

"That's one of a kind, that is," said Michael Bailey of Knoxville, waiting to catch a bus on Gay Street.

He said he watched "The Storyteller" get installed earlier in the week.

"It's $8,000 - that would pay my rent and electric bills for a long time," said Bailey.

Sculptures are along Gay Street, at Krutch Park, Volunteer Landing, World's Fair Park, the Knoxville Convention Center, ORNL in Bearden and McGhee Tyson Airport. They are available for purchase through the Dogwood Arts Festival; call 865-637-4561.

Rebecca D. Williams is a freelance contributor to the News Sentinel.