I have begun to look everywhere for sculpture and am finding it in unpredictable places. As always, I have a soft spot for artwork that is neglected/forgotten/ignored/abandoned – it becomes an unexpected pleasure. A needed reminder of the fact that art is all around us. We only need to open our eyes.
Near where I work is a campus, Richland College, that I was checking out for outdoor artworks – especially sculpture. I’m familiar with that campus – have been going there for various reasons for decades… and thought I knew everything about its grounds.
But I found a reference to an outdoor sculpture that I knew nothing about. It was called “A Place to Gather” and was done by Linnea Glatt – the sculptor that did “Harrow” in Lubben Plaza downtown (one of my favorites). She also did “A Place to Perform” at the White Rock Bathhouse Cultural Center. I have always enjoyed stopping there on my bike trips around the lake.
What she built at Richland was a small outdoor installation that consisted of a space bounded by two walls, containing a couple of wooden benches. Truly a place to gather.
I had never noticed it. I had a few moments, so I went over there to look for it. I was astounded to find it, overgrown and ignored, between a couple of low earthen ridges in the fields to the east of campus.
There are soccer fields built all around that spot – and I have watched… easily a hundred kid’s soccer games there. Who knows how many times I have walked right by the sculpture, usually hauling a folding chair and a cooler full of drinks for the kids, without ever noticing that it was there. I even remember clearly walking over those little hills in the heat.
The most developed soccer field is right over the little rise to the south – I remember when Nick broke his arm in a game there.
I enjoyed checking it out. It’s more than a little overgrown now – with some graffiti sprayed on the concrete and some trash starting to accumulate. I’m sure one of the purposes of the work is to let it settle into the landscape but I wish it could get cleaned up a little.
I’d like to go sit there sometime… sit and write, maybe talk to someone. After all, it is a place to gather.