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Direct Capital's 20th Anniversary National Competition Winner - Entrepreneurship













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(Click here for full Article)  PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A Rhode Island-based entrepreneur who produces children's television programming has won Direct Capital's national "Small Biz, BIG Success" award competition and the $10,000 prize that goes with it, the company announced today.

William Culbertson and his North Smithfield company, Whooplah LLC, won the national competition by producing this video that described his work. Culbertson has created a children's television program from scratch -- even sewing his puppets by hand and creating elaborate scenes from recycled materials. Whooplah plans to use the $10,000 prize money to go into production on an upcoming series for PBS.

Direct Capital sponsored the competition as part of its 20th anniversary celebration. Companies competed for the award by producing videos that explain how they will use the prize money; how they make every interaction with their customers remarkable; their passion, scrappiness, and creative problem-solving skills.

"Culbertson's passion for his business and his scrappiness in finding creative solutions to put it all together really came through in his video submission. We are thrilled to be able to give Whooplah a jump start in 2014," said Stephen Lankler, senior vice president for the Portsmouth, NH-based company.

Whooplah was chosen by a panel of judges from the Direct Capital executive staff, based on the judging criteria found here. Over the last several months, small businesses across the country had the chance to enter to win the $10,000 to help fund the project of their choice.



2012    Commission for Muppet Dawn, Jim Henson Memorial, City of Hyattsville, MD. 

 2011    Commission for 9-11 Freedom Memorial, North Smithfield, RI .






- "Westshore Medallions" by Tampa Public Art for the Interstate 4 bridges through Westshore in Tampa.

- "Puritas Promenade" commission for the Greater Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority for the Puritas Transit Station.

-  "Timberwolves!" A 12' tall monolith relief for Lake City Community College, Lake City, Florida

-  "Nature's Trust"  A series of six monolith sculptures for the Orange County Public Art Commission, Orlando, Florida

-"The Student Body Promenade" a series of five relief sculptures for Penn State University


The East Innes Portal










































City Council endorses public art project for downtown entrance  (3-22-06)

By Mark Wineka, Salisbury Post

Salisbury City Council gave its enthusiastic endorsement Tuesday to a public art project that would create a dramatic welcome to downtown.

Council voted 5-0 to back the selection of Rhode Island artist William Culbertson's mostly brick design, which would be erected on East Innes Street between the railroad bridge and Long Street.

A model of the selected work will be on display over the next two weeks in the lobby of the Rowan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Culbertson's design emerged out of 140 original applications. It features a center column (in a median) roughly 36 feet high and with sculpted relief.

Columns on each side smaller versions of the center column would extend about 28 feet in the air.

Colorful banners, which could be changed with the seasons, punctuate the columns. The smaller columns would have fence-like appendages with insets describing the History and Art Trail, markers for which are now being produced.

Barbara Perry, chair of the Public Art Committee, said her members used phrases such as "timeless appeal" and "strong presence" in describing Culbertson's work. They also said it fits with the city and will be a piece that says "Welcome to Salisbury," she said.

"I think it's a beautiful project," Mayor Susan Kluttz said.

Mayor Pro Tem Paul Woodson called it "remarkable."

Perry's committee will initially seek grants from the Robertson Family Foundation and the N.C. Arts Council before pursuing other sources.

Culbertson has told the committee that it would take 18 months to two years to install the project after funding is in place.

The Public Art Committee, which grew out of the Community Appearance Commission and Downtown Salisbury Inc., has 17 members. A separate eight-person selection panel was chosen to reduce the 140 original applications to 20, then five.

The panel eventually invited three artists to Salisbury, and they came between Nov. 30 and Dec. 9 last year. The selection panel, which included Councilman Bill Burgin, met Feb. 23 and had conference calls with all three finalists before unanimously voting for Culbertson's project.

The Public Art Committee also was unanimous in its preference for Culbertson's idea.

His project would be the first of some of the larger public art installations envisioned for Salisbury in the coming years.

The History and Art Trail also will install a series of bronze markers to identify individuals, places and events significant to Salisbury's history. Fabrication has started on the first marker and six more are designed and ready to be produced.

Culbertson gave the selection panel a specially produced DVD to show how his project would look on its site from every angle, how it would be illuminated at night and how it would look in passing traffic. Perry and Lynn Raker, urban design planner for the city, played the DVD for council Tuesday.

"Could you tell he worked for Disney at one time?" Burgin asked after the DVD finished.

Culbertson works out of North Smithfield, R.I.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or mwineka @salisburypost.com.2006, The Salisbury Post


Tampa Centennial Keep























The Tampa Tribune 

For a .pdf copy of article with photos, please click here!

Depot Clock Tells History
By SEAN LENGELL slengell@tampatrib.com
Published: Oct 18, 2003

TAMPA - Time isn't standing still at Tampa's 91-year-old Union Station.

A freestanding 30-foot clock tower has been installed outside the downtown train depot, featuring four clock faces and images representing the city's railroad history.

The piece, called the Centennial Clock Keep, was commissioned by the Tampa Public Art Program for $35,000.

``It's certainly one of the most complex [artworks] we've done, by design and construction,'' Public Art Administrator Robin Nigh said.

Designed by Rhode Island artist Bill Culbertson, the concrete structure features dozens of graphic and pictorial reliefs , including Florida railroad magnet Henry Plant, logos of passenger train lines that once served Tampa, and Henry Love, Union Station's first manager.

A brick base will be installed soon.

``The whole thing is the history of the train station,'' Culbertson said. ``I'm trying to make people happy and hopefully make something local people can be proud of.''

Culbertson said he designed the ornate clock box at the top of the column to resemble the station's long-demolished watchman's tower. The tower was used as a lookout by railroad workers to direct trains.

Union Station, 601 N. Nebraska Ave., was built in 1912. The building, now an Amtrak depot, was restored in 1998 for $2.6 million.

Reporter Janis D. Froelich contributed to this story. Reporter Sean Lengell can be reached at (813) 259-7145


The installation was also covered by Fox Television in Tampa for the 6 O'clock news


Ames Circle of Arts




Installed in June 2004!

To view a streaming video (4 minutes) of the installation filmed by the City of Ames for local broadcast, click here! (Windows Media Player)


Disney Design Group


Recent work includes an 18 " reproduction of the "Tree of Life" from Animal Kingdom and some collectables for the "Haunted Mansion" movie due out in October 2003! Recent 2004 work includes a 24" Goofy sculpture.
Ybor City Medallions Sculpture work is completed on the interstate project!

Recent work on architectural restoration!


Li'l Rhody! Broadcast began in August 2004 on Rhode Island PBS!
To view a streaming 5 minute interview of sculptor Bill Culbertson, broadcast by Rhode Island Magazine, CLICK HERE! (Windows Media Player)   To view a streaming 4 minute interview of sculptor Bill Culbertson about sculpting toys, by CBS/FOX News, CLICK HERE! (Windows Media Player)



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Please e-mail culbertson@cox.net with questions of comments about these or any other projects. Thank you for visiting!

Copyright 2003 William C. Culbertson