Earthly and Mechanical Paraphernalia

“She glided away towards the lift, which seemed hardly needed, with its earthly and mechanical paraphernalia, to bear her up to the higher levels.”
Anthony Powell, A Dance to the Music of Time: 3rd Movement

Sculpture being installed at the Meadows Building, Dallas, Texas

Dallas is the worst city there is as far as preserving its history, art works, and interesting architecture (such as it is). There has been a struggle over the redevelopment of the uber-cool Meadows Building. They were going to raze a historic wing just to create room to run a driveway through.

There used to be a sculpture between the building and the Lover’s Lane DART station – Birth II by Arthur Williams.

Birth II, Arthur Williams, Dallas, Texas

 

All of a sudden, during the construction, it disappeared. I seem to be the only person interested in the sculpture – there is no record of where it went that I can find. I certainly hope they didn’t scrap it.

The other day, I rode my bike around the construction site as best as I could trying to see if they simply moved it somewhere obscure. I couldn’t find it – but they were putting in a new giant three part sculpture nearby.

It looked cool, but not anywhere as cool as the old Birth II.

Birth II, by Arthur Williams, Dallas, Texas

A Place to Gather

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.

A photo from The Dallas Art Revue of A Place to Gather when it was first installed.

A photo from The Dallas Art Revue of A Place to Gather when it was first installed.

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.

A Place to Gather

A Place to Gather – by Linnea Glatt, with soccer fields nearby

A Place to Gather - by Linnea Glatt. The little benches are still there - it's a peaceful spot.

A Place to Gather – by Linnea Glatt. The little benches are still there – it’s a peaceful spot.

A Place to Gather - by Linnea Glatt. The weeds are taking over.

A Place to Gather – by Linnea Glatt. The weeds are taking over.

A Place to Gather - by Linnea Glatt

A Place to Gather – by Linnea Glatt

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.