We did some more checking on the cost of the Uptown sculpture. The city Finance Department said it wrote two checks to artist Nick Poupore (aka Nic Noblique) in February for the sculpture.
The first was on Feb. 4 for $1,970 and was for metal. The second was on Feb. 6 for $18,104.36 and was for the sculpture itself. That totals $20,074.36 - about half of the $40,000 purchase price.
The Finance Department employee who helped me said the payments came with a note saying $30,000 of the $40,000 payment was due in advance. But, according to this employee, there was no obvious record of $30,000 or $40,000 in payments.
We're still checking with the City Development Department on payments for the sculptures and will report back when our calls to the department are returned.
Also, a second Noblique sculpture may be installed in the Uptown area. A privately owned piece, significantly smaller than the red sculpture already in place, is expected to be installed between Uptown's mosaics walls.
And, another Noblique statue can be seen in the window of 1301 Washington Ave. in Uptown. That sculpture is also privately owned.
Lastly, we should note Noblique is a Wisconsin native. The 33-year-old was born in Appleton and now lives in Galveston Island, Texas. He's had dozens of sculptures displayed around the country, including one on Navy Pier in Chicago.
In this article, the successful Noblique says his credo is: "Art is whatever you can get away with."