Plug: Art Notes on War Memorial | Rock Candy

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Plug: Art Notes on War Memorial

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2009 at 1:56 PM


Playground sex?

I'm overdue in pointing towards Leslie Peacock's sharp takedown of the planned War Memorial sculpture garden. Last week, you may've read Max decrying the ex post facto approval of the deal, which cedes park land to a private Cancer Survivors group. If that isn't bad enough, Leslie says what's pretty obvious from the picture above. The sculptures aren't going to look good.

City Director Stacy Hurst, who is to War Memorial Park what Dean Kumpuris is to Riverfront Park, announced the cancer park dough to day. Both think they know best for us.

They mean well. But neither has any kind of background in art. That means Riverfront Park now has a laughable “sculpture garden” of small-scale works never meant to be outdoors and a number of larger off-the-rack pieces duplicated in other small towns and meaningful to none. Such as the statue of Harriet Tubman. She’s an admirable person, her Underground Railroad a brave enterprise. But she’s in Little Rock for one reason only: Because you can buy her, that’s why. The sculptor sells her in editions.

Ditto on the cancer park sculpture. No, we’re not getting Mr. Peyronie or Ms. Spread Eagle.

But the sculptor, God rest his soul, is no longer with us. Which means we’re getting the same sculpture, one of multiple editions of his interpretation of the journey through cancer treatment (which could also be interpreted as the journey through a square slinky) to be found in Bloch cancer parks in Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis; Austin; San Diego. Etc.

The city needs a public art consultant. Townsend Wolfe, where are you?

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