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Lesson Plans


Re: public sculpture

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
cfiret
Sun, 20 Apr 1997 14:27:32 -0700


Nancy Walkup wrote:
>
> An interesting public sculpture:
>
> This is not a controversial issue about public sculpture, but a
> item that may be of interest. There is a new movie in release
> called "Cadillac Ranch" in which three sisters find their way
> to the real Cadillac Ranch. Also, PBS recently aired a feature
> about Cadilllac Ranch..
>
> For those of you not familiar with Cadillac Ranch, it's a public
> sculpture (for lack of a better term) of a number of cadillacs
> buried partially in the ground so that the body and tail of each
> car is above ground and slanting towards the sky. The cars are
> in a row in the middle of a field and can be seen from the
> Interstate on the western outskirts of Amarillo, Texas. I think
> it would be a great work to compare to Carhenge in Nebraska.
>
> Nancy> Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 22:11:34 -0500
>
> > From: Chaney <lchaney>
> > Reply-to: lchaney
> > To: Pam Stephens <stephens>
> > Cc: artsednet
> > Subject: Re: public sculpture
>
> > Pam Stephens wrote:
> > >
> > > For a future issue of the newsletter published by the North
> > > Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts, I am
> > > researching the topic of public sculpture. Controversy
> > > frequently accompanies installation of public sculpture. I
> > > would like to include within the article reference to issues
> > > that have stemmed from sculpture being placed in public areas.
> > >
> > > This is a request for your input. If you know of a controversy
> > > arising from the installation of public sculpture in your area, please
> > > share. I am looking for all sorts of issues whether they relate
> > > to the actual object, funding of the artwork, the site of the
> > > artwork, or anything surrounding the installation.
> > >
> > > Please be as specific as possible in your response (title of
> > > work, artist, location, or any reference documentation will be
> > > helpful).
> > >
> > > If your "controversy" is used in the newsletter article, you will be listed
> > > as a contributor.
> > >
> > > Thanks for your help!
> > >
> > > Pam Stephens
> > >
> > > -------
> > >
> > > Pamela Geiger Stephens
> > > Project Coordinator
> > > North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
> > > P.O. Box 5098
> > > University of North Texas 76203-0098
> > > 817-565-4552
> > > 817-565-4867 fax
> > > stephens
> >
> > This is probably of no help to you....
> >
> > Upon reading your article, I recall a few years ago, when "shuttlecocks"
> > were installed in the yard at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. (I am
> > from Kansas City, MO). I know that if you were to research this museum,
> > there were articles in the Kansas City Star about how the public
> > responded to this. Many people thought they were ugly and made no
> > sense. They thought "How is a badminton birdie a sculpture?" Yet they
> > are still there.
> >
> > I also recall the sculptures put on top of Bartle Hall, in downtown K.C.
> > Perhapse the Newspaper again would be a starting place for your
> > research?
> >
> Nancy Walkup, Project Coordinator
> North Texas Institute for Educators on the Visual Arts
> PO Box 5098, University of North Texas
> Denton, TX 76203
> 817/565-3986 FAX 817/565-4867
> Walkup from Western Nebraska! Alliance, to be exact...home of Carhenge.
Our public sculpture has enjoyed the full gamut of debate from the
threats to have it removed, to toleration as a tourist attraction (it is
REALLY surprising how many people drive this far out of their way to see
it), to those who value it as art. Any object that forces people to
think away from their usual pathways is going to cause some form of
controversy. Most think that they HAVE to understand it on an
intellectual level and when they don't, it frustrates them. The artist
who made Carhenge did so in a spirit of pure fun--it was a family reunion
activity. What they did not expect was that all the fun after they
finished and started reading all their press.
I think that often we take public sculpture too seriously. Granted there
are some very serious pieces out there. There was no fun intended in the
making of the VietNam Memorial, but many are out there for levity in a
far too serious world.