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sculptorsam 06-07-2004 09:38 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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First day of the trip is under our belt and it was packed! I'm currently in a hotel just outside Milwaukee after starting the day in Minnesota. We made it to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis as well as a great outsider-art sculpture park of work by Dr. Evermore just south of Baraboo, WI. I took over 100 pics today already but here are some highlights of the Walker. I'll get to the Dr. Evermore pics later (after a visit to the swimming pool... :) )

Some background: I was awarded a travel grant from the General Mills and Jerome Foundations to visit sculpture parks/museums/galleries/studios from my home in Mid-Minnesota to the East coast. In three weeks time, I hope to see as much as I can, take as many pictures as possible, and try to get the tiniest grip on that unruly beast known as Modern Sculpture.


Sculptors left to right: David Nash, Mark Di Suvero, Claus Oldenberg

RuBert 06-07-2004 10:17 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Sam - I have moved your post to start a new thread in Sculpture News with a redirect at the previous thread.

It's great to see you on your way. I think it will be great to follow your progress, and also please post some images in the Photo Gallery as you go. I have adjusted your settings so that you now have more allocated space and we can build a Photo Gallery section around this.

JAZ 06-07-2004 11:10 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Excellent, Sam. Hopefully you're keeping track of names and titles, too? (I know how hard that is!) What an awesome trip. We're so lucky that you're doing all this research for us.

sculptorsam 06-07-2004 11:13 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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Thanks Russ. This is a better place for it. I'll definitely post more pics in the Photo Gallery as well when I can get some time.

Here are some pics from the Dr. Evermore sculpture park about 5 miles south of Baraboo, WI on HWY 12. I was sad to hear that Tom Every aka Dr. Evermore just had a stroke a couple weeks ago but it doesn't sound like that will keep him down for long. He has created some very inventive sculpture with the centerpiece being his giant Forevertron in the center. Made from salvaged scrap, there is also a definite theme of music working it's way through the sculpture. The shear energy found there boggles the mind.

I purposefully planned my first day to include such radically different conceptions of sculpture. I'm working on clarifying my thoughts on the common threads running through the High Contemporary and the Outsider as well as where they diverge. I think this has allowed me to see and appreciate each of them much better.

sculptorsam 06-07-2004 11:17 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!

Originally Posted by JAZ
Excellent, Sam. Hopefully you're keeping track of names and titles, too? (I know how hard that is!) What an awesome trip. We're so lucky that you're doing all this research for us.

I'll post the names and titles with the works when I upload them to the Photo Gallery. (I'm taking all digital so it's cheap and easy to take a pic of each nameplate as well.) It may be a while until that is done though, there are only so many hours in the day...

JAZ 06-07-2004 11:43 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
That's one method Egils uses too...those handy labels. The Evermores are great! Never heard of him before. There's a very good Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. The expressiveness and exhuberance, not to mention the scale and craftsmanship. Cool.

sculptorsam 06-07-2004 11:56 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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JAZ, here's a couple more for you to get a better idea of the scale. He used to have a website but it has been down for a bit.

sculptorsam 06-08-2004 12:14 AM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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And a couple more good ones from the Walker collection.

Left to right: Judith Shea, Saul Baizerman, Wim Delvoye

Araich 06-08-2004 04:09 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Awesome Sam! I love seeing the images here as you take them, you can always edit and build an (image) gallery when you get back. Is that Mandy with the Di Suvero?

Cheers to you both!
Drive safe.

jsimms 06-08-2004 05:37 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Gee, Its almost as though we were all on the road!!

well, kinda............. I wish....

Wasan Khurshid 06-08-2004 07:12 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
You have great dreems Sam, I have no words to explan the beauty of yours great art. But I have to feel by sight and touch your dreem like work with my imagentive fingers.
good wishes


sculptorsam 06-08-2004 11:03 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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Thanks all! And yes, Robert, that is Mandy with the Di Suvero (as well as peeking out from behind one of the Evermore scullptures).

Today we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum, Bilhenry Walker at his gallery, and the Skokie North Shore Sculpture Park. We made it to the MAM early enough to see the "wings" open up to the sounds of music and the fountains turning on. I even captured some video with my digital camera. The pic below is with the "wings" retracted. The building itself is a great piece of sculpture. That is good since the design doesn't leave much room for other works inside. The main, open space indoors has a great, cathedral feel to it but was missing a prominent work to anchor the space. The older museum space connected to the new building is a fine building as well, in a much different way.

After that, it was a short drive for lunch with Bilhenry Walker. He is a sculptor as well as gallery owner. We talked shop at Sollys, home of the original Butter Burger.

Left to right: MAM, Dale Chihuly, Barbara Hepworth

sculptorsam 06-08-2004 11:09 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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Later, we trudged our way through 100+ degree heat to the Skokie North Shore Sculpture Park in Skokie, IL (just north of Chicago). I'd been there briefly before about 3 years ago to install a sculpture of my own. Today was my first chance to see it again since then and I was pleased to see it has weathered quite well. The park itself is located on a long stretch beside a river complete with running/biking paths. Bring your walking shoes and plenty of fluids 'cause you're going to need them. There is a wide variety (and quality) of work to be found here. It really is an impressive collection of sculptures for a mostly-residential community to have.

L to R: Michael Gutzwiller, Mike Baur, Sam Spiczka

sculptor 06-09-2004 09:38 AM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
more pictures------"Please sir...I want more"

and the occasional broadshot for sense of place----then the colseups----cool?


the 3rd Skokie piece 1st glance it shouted Sam Spiczka-----(strong artistic voice)


Bob Emser 06-09-2004 09:05 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Hey Sam and Mandy,

It was great to meet you and be a stop on the Dream Sculpture Tour.

We 3 spent the afternoon in my Eureka, IL studio talking and telling stories. This is a great young couple and all that are on their route had a treat instore for themselves.

Safe travels!!!


sculptorsam 06-09-2004 11:16 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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Thanks for stopping by the forum, Bob!

We had a great time as well hanging out there for the better part of an afternoon. I think Bob had the better stories to tell, though. I laughed so hard I cried! But I gleaned a lot of information from him as well that I look forward to putting to use in my own work. He even made a compelling case for upgrading to the Professional Member level of ISC. I just sent the info in...

Here are a couple pics, (including a broad, studio shot for scuptor. I'll try to include an overview shot when possible, that's a good idea).

sculptorsam 06-09-2004 11:26 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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After Bob's, we headed for the Wandell Sculpture Park in Urbana, IL. What a great little complex of walking/biking trails, forests, fields, and playground! Like Mandy said, if we lived there we'd visit every day.

The sculpture park itself is along a loop of paved trail about half a mile long. Sculptures are installed every hundred yards or so. By far my favorite work there was by Derick Malkemus (the first pic below). Just a wonderful sculpture that gets better the closer you inspect it, which is saying a lot.

L to R: Derick Malkemus, Christiane T. Martens, William D. Carlson

sculptorsam 06-10-2004 10:18 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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We started today at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University just a little South of Chicago. We discovered some nice large-scale works there scattered about a prairie setting around a couple small lakes. But a word of warning: if you begin walking the path thinking it will loop back around and not leave you stranded to double back in the middle of nowhere, YOU WOULD BE WRONG. And we're still on watch to make sure we didn't walk through any poison ivy...

The pics may be a little dark today since it drizzled rain the whole time. At least it wasn't 90 degrees I guess.

L to R: John Henry, Clemente Meadmore, Harry Gordon

sculptorsam 06-10-2004 10:24 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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After that, we headed to Purdue North Central to check out their sculpture exhibition on campus. Very impressive collection of works nicely displayed around the campus. We spoke to Judy Jacobi while we were there and she gave us a behind the scenes peek into the funding and management of the collection. We also saw a very professional powerpoint presentation about the exhibition which I recommend if you have high speed internet:

L to R: S. Thomas Scarff, Terence Karpowitz, John Adduci

sculptorsam 06-10-2004 10:45 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
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And lastly, we took a chance and stopped by the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph, MI after closing time. But luckily for us, there was an opening in progress so we made it inside and spoke with Sue Wilczak about their collection. The Krasl has a fine exhibition of sculptures immediately outside the Center but then branching out to along Lake Michigan as well.

I have been there 3 times now and never have I seen their kinetic George Rickey moving. Perhaps one day the wind will cooperate with me...

Once again, it was raining and getting dark but the pics turned out okay.

L to R: Michael Dunbar, Burt Brent, Richard Hunt

sculptorsam 06-10-2004 11:19 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Some thoughts so far: I have developed three goals for this sculpture trip. First, I hope to inspect in person as broad a survey of sculpture as possible. Secondly, I hope to better understand what makes for a good or bad sculpture so that I can make my own work better. And now thirdly, I intend to report on my trip in a journalistic vein for whatever benefit/amusement the community can gain from it.

At the risk of speaking too soon, a theory has begun to take shape about what makes for a good sculpture. A Quality work has a presence to it, a confidence within its material. But it is not reticent, it is open to the viewer. It respects the viewer and demands the same level of respect in return. It does not make cheap concessions for entertainment or attention, but it does look outward. It seeks to meet the viewer part way, and therefore the artist has respected the viewer in the creation of the work. This means the sculpture is imaginative, made with care at every level (by care I don't mean "clean" or "polished" but simply made with attention) and has integrity.

A bad sculpture however betrays a lack of respect on multiple levels. It does not respect itself through the lack of care and attention in its fabrication. It does not respect the viewer by being condescending or obtuse. But mostly, a bad sculpture reveals the lack of respect of the sculptor for him/herself.

Some bad works feel to me like a beaten or neglected dog. Due to a lack of love and thought shown by it's owner, it cowers and snaps at anyone trying to reach out to it. It will not accept care shown towards it because dissapointment will inevitably follow. When I try to approach one of these sculptures, I feel rebuffed. By contrast, a good sculpture will engage me and nudge me along to discover its private vision.

Just some thoughts to go with the pictures...

JAZ 06-11-2004 02:18 AM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
This whole experience of "watching" your sculpture travels is fantastic. Your ruminations are intriguing. You need to put together a guide book to good art!
By the way, did you by any chance see "Strobus" when you were at Wandell? I think it may be in the Meadowbrook Park (?) section, though I've never been there.

sculptorsam 06-11-2004 07:12 AM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!
Ah man, we were looking for it but didn't see it, JAZ. If we'd known there were more sculptures in the other park areas, we would have looked. I guess we foolishly thought that all the sculptures would be located on the Sculpture Walk. And I was already a little grumpy looking out at the neverending rain outside...

fritchie 06-11-2004 08:21 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!; documentation
Some really wonderful pictures, Sam! And I like your approach to evaluating works. It seems very thoughtful, and I know you are fair and open in looking. The devil is in the details, as word has it, but some scale of evaluation is necessary to keep the overall field of sculpture in balance. Your documentation of this trip will be quite valuable.

sculptorsam 06-11-2004 10:42 PM

Re: Dream Sculpture Tour!; documentation
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Originally Posted by fritchie
but some scale of evaluation is necessary to keep the overall field of sculpture in balance.

I have been thinking a lot about this as well...

Today began bright and early, at around 5 AM. That is when the garbage truck decided to empty the dumpster directly below our window. But we did manage to get some decent sleep, even with a novelty hotel bed. You know the one, where if you lay down in the middle the highest point on your body is actually below the top of the mattress at the sides! And did I mention it was raining as well?...

But today was a very good day. We spent the better part of it at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI. And perhaps the rain helped, because we were the only people out walking around to see the sculptures. No little kids to get in the way of my pictures! And there are some truly incredible works there. Their Di Suvero is magnificent. It has a presense that is awesome. All of the works were beautifully sited as well, which makes a huge difference.

Inside, we were lucky enough to catch an exhibit of the sculptor Robert Kuhn. Inventive and touching welded steel sculpture. Aparently he was big in the 60s until he pulled a Bontecou, though he passed away before re-emerging.

And they had the finalist maquettes for their recent sculpture commission competition. I had actually entered it myself. The winning choice will be a 7 foot cube of clear acrylic encasing and upside-down tree root system. Of the five finalists, it was the proper choice.

L to R: Di Suvero, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Juan Munoz

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