Monday, May 30, 2011

Artfest at CityArts

I exhibited my work at Artsfest this past weekend, as part of the annual CityArts celebration in Dallas. All the events are spread around Fair Park, the big fairgrounds area south of downtown that is home of the Cotton Bowl, and the big State Fair of Texas every fall. What I thought was particularly cool was the art portion of the show stretched the 150 or so artist's tents along one side of the pathway that goes around the big man-made lagoon there, which has two wonderfully bizarre massive earth-art sculpture pieces. To quote from the Fair Park site:

"Federal WPA (Work Progress Administration) funds constructed The Leonhardt Lagoon in 1936 at the site of the Texas Centennial Exposition. The site takes its name from philanthropist Dorothea Leonhardt. In the 1980s, workers drained the lagoon, cleaned out excess vegetation, and introduced native Texas plants to restore the lagoon’s ecological balance.

In 1986, artist Pat Johanson fashioned two serpentine sculptures for the lagoon. Made of gunite and steel, the sculptures resemble large plant forms that entwine at the center of the lagoon to create a bridge visitors can traverse."

(Yes, the word there was "gunite". It's a dry mixture of cement and aggregate that is combined with water at the nozzle of a spray gun. blasted out at high pressure. It is the perfect medium for sculpting artificial rock because it does not sag or slump like concrete. )

I just thought it was way too cool to walk around, on, and over those undulating curves which seemed to float on, and rise above, the waters of the lagoon. With their odd pinkish color, it was like strolling along the tongue of some bizarre sea monster that had passed out just below the surface. Or, is that just how I see it?

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