One featured stop in the DART to Art Rail & Ride that a friend of mine organized a few weeks ago was the Bowler Hat sculpture in the Cedars – just across I30 south of downtown Dallas. I had originally planned to swing by there during my Stop and Shoot the Roses ride earlier – but had to cut it due to length of ride.
Local artist Keith Turman built the thing. He and Keith Scherbarth used a 3d scanner on a real bowler hat to get the shape and curves just right. Then his team set to work with steel, wood, fiberglass, and foam, building up, carving down, shaping, and smoothing until, after six months of sweat, he had a twenty-foot wide, ten foot tall hat.
Unfortunately, like the dancing frogs decades ago, the hat fell victim to Dallas’ draconian sign ordinance and it was never able to make it to the top of the furniture store.
The hat sat unloved and unknown in a warehouse for a long time. Finally, not long before it was slated for destruction, Doug Caudill, owner of the studio the hat was built in, suggested that the hat be donated to the Cedars Community as a piece of public art. Structural Studio provided a very visible location, KNK Concrete Express provided the foundation, and Tony Collins Art built the metal stand the hat sits on.
And now, thanks to many people from an upscale British furniture store to a Texas concrete company – and many in between, there is a cool piece of public art along I30 south of downtown Dallas. Pull off to look at it though, that curve is a doozy.