On Saturday, well before the wild weather of the afternoon wreaked havoc around town, art consultant and CWEnder Kathryn Adamchick led a fascinating tour of the Citygarden arranged especially for readers of this blog. Kathryn developed the education program for Citygarden, so her tour was informed and filled with interesting back-stories about the art and the artists. We met outside the Terrace View Cafe beside Maillol's La Riviere, foreground above. In the background you'll see the cut-out sculpture Samarkand by Jack Youngerman who interestingly, studied journalism at UMSL.
The Gateway Foundation, which funded the sculpture park in cooperation with the City of St. Louis, has installed 23 varied artworks dating from 1928 to 2009, ranging from LED art by Julian Opie to a bronze wall sculpture by Fernand Leger.
You may recognize Bernar Venet's 2 Arcs x 4 230.5 Degree Arc x 5 from the days when it was installed in Forest Park near the Grand Basin. This piece is located on the "Middle Floodplain Band" of the park. There are two other sections, the "Bluffs," which are constructed of native limestone (in the background), and the "River Plain," which features a circuitous 1100 foot granite-topped seat that meanders through it.
Pinocchio is the subject of two pieces in the park, one by Tom Otterness, Kindly Geppetto, at 8th & Chestnut, and Big White Gloves, Big Four Wheels by Jim Dine, above. Ellen Curlee, a soon-to-be CWEnder who formerly operated a photography gallery downtown, was not on our tour but happended to be visiting the park and was standing in front of Dine's sculpture with her granddaughters when we arrived.
We tried (and failed) to make a little music on Dance Chimes by Alfons Van Leggelo-- nine musical squares tuned to a five-note scale. Kathryn clued us in that perhaps we should have watched the following You Tube video before attempting our moves!
We were as interested in who visited the park as what was installed in it. The pulsating water jets were a great source of puzzlement and fun for this Golden Retriever.
These little girls (Ellen Curlee's grandaughters) found a way to enjoy the water from a distance.
The body builder with the amazing tan was not part of our tour, but definitely offered an interesting contrast to the preceding shot. If you aren't too distracted by the model, you'll see Folon's Voyage in the pool behind her, one of my favorite pieces in the collection.
Public tours are conducted on the 1st Saturday of each month at 1 p.m., or visit the website to arrange for a docent tour. It is also possible to take a cellphone audio tour by following the instructions on a downloadable map available from the website. The narrators you'll hear on the tour include some of the artists in the collection, local public figures, and radio personalities.
Any way you can visit Citygarden, do...it is well worth it...a fabulous addition to the St. Louis scene!
Citygarden, between 8th & 10th, Chestnut & Market,open sunrise to 10 p.m. every day.