See Leawood’s two latest public art installations, which show off work from international artists with JoCo ties

Kwan Wu's "Women of the World" sits in front of the Leawood Justice Center, 4201 Town Center Drive. Wu's piece is one of two new sculptures recently installed in Leawood.

Leawood residents and visitors have two new pieces of art to check out.

The Leawood Arts Council’s art in public places initiative has installed two new pieces to the city’s collection. Both sculptures were created by “internationally renowned artists with local ties,” according to a city press release.

Holly York, the city’s cultural arts supervisor, said the project has been in the works for nearly two years, and the city is excited both pieces are installed.

“We are thrilled with having the Kwan Wu and Rita Blitt pieces as part of our collection,” York said. “We have already had a ton of positive feedback on both sculptures from our residents.”

Rita Blitt’s “Inspiration” is located at the southeast corner of Tomahawk Creek Parkway and College Boulevard in Leawood.

The southeast corner of Tomahawk Creek Parkway and College Boulevard will be receiving Blitt’s “Inspiration,” a 26-foot tall abstract dancing figure, as a gift from Leawood residents Bill and Mary Walker.

Wu’s “Women of the World,” which celebrates women diversity, will be installed at the front entrance of the Leawood Justice Center at 4201 Town Center Drive. Wu’s piece is also a gift to the city from Astoria Healthcare Properties LLC.

Blitt’s piece was formerly installed at Bannister Road and Hillcrest in Kansas City, Mo., and a five-foot version of the sculpture won an award at the Florence Biennale, the International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence, Italy.

Blitt, a Leawood resident, often celebrates nature, music and dance in her art. Her pieces are on display at Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston and the National Museum of Singapore.

Similarly, Wu “is best known for his ability to put life into clay and bronze,” according to the release. Other examples of his work can be viewed in China at the National Arts Museum of Chins as well as throughout the Kansas City metro area, including at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, at Kauffman Stadium and outside he Johnson County Courthouse.

The city hopes to hold dedications for both sculptures in spring 2021, York said.