Thursday, August 12, 2010

Woodland Arts Fair Art For The Park

Next weekend is the 35th edition of the Woodland Arts Fair. Of all the activities held in the park, it is the longest running and best attended since the mid '30s and I have been to all of them.

I have seen Little League, Pony League baseball, Peewee League football, The Sunday Fast-Pitch tournaments, yearly swim meets, concert band series' and Shakespeare in the Park(after it out grew Bell Court). I have seen the two variations of the pool and remember the earlier one adjacent to the pavilion near the playground. There were also some volleyball courts, boundball courts and large, double well sand (feral cat litter) box. I was in the park daily from about 6 years to after I was 31.

Mrs Sweeper and I make it a point to attend two art fairs each year, the St James Fair in Louisville and the Woodland Arts Fair. It was during the art fair nearly twenty years ago while we were dating that we met my sister among the tents. I introduced them and we had a brief conversation and upon parting I spoke an aside to my sister, "I think that I'm gonna marry this woman". At this moment, Mrs Sweeper knew that she had let me chase her until I was firmly on her hook and she was reeling me in. That was it, no ring, no bended knee, no nothing, just a cute comment and I had committed to life.

All of this is to say that Woodland Park is a large part of my life. A great deal of my history lies in that park. The one thing that is missing both from the park and my history is some form of public art in the park. I can remember no public art ever being displayed anywhere in the park nor have seen any account of such. When they tore down the auditorium and replaced it with the weak, Realtor's Plaza, I believe that there was some talk of displaying something there but it failed to materialize.

I read and I post about public art, what it is, how it should be funded and where it should or should not be. I will state now, probably for the first time, that I would like to see some sort of public sculpture/fountain/statue placed in the park that has been the home of our premier arts event and I am sure will be its home for many years to come. The St James Ct. location started off with a beautiful large fountain and I don't expect that we will ever see something like that, but they have added some smaller pieces over the years and we could try for that.

How many of you will join me in calling for some public art in Woodland Park?

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