Thursday, September 8, 2022

Review of Sculptures in OFallon MO

Tumbleweed by Alison Oullette-Kirby

I live in O'Fallon Missouri, which is located about 45 minutes west of St. Louis.  I am fortunate to live in a town that provides some wonderful cultural events and displays for all to see.   We have community theatre, musical concerts, displays by various artists and so much more.  One cultural event that was started in 2020 is a rotating sculpture series.  This series runs for 18 months and then the sculptures are replaced with another rotating set of art.   I wrote about the first group of sculptures in my review called A Review of 2020 Fall Favorites.  In this review I will be looking at some of the sculptures that are in the 2022/2023 rotation.  Over the past few weeks, I have taken my camera along to photograph the sculptures.  Some of the photos lend very well to black and white photography and others I prefer in color.

I think it is best to let the artists describe their own works, so I am adding quotes from the O'Fallon website The Shape of Community.  All of the photographs are mine. 

2022/2023 Sculptures


The sculpture at the top of this post is called Tumbleweed and is located in front of the O'Fallon city hall.  Here is what the artist Alison Oullette-Kirby has to say about her art.

Through the objects I make I endeavor to build allied relationships between a viewer and myself. Most often, I build work that either creates or stands as an expression of uncertainty, instability, discomfort, and awkwardness. These are states of being I believe are shared points of mutually understood, if not uncomfortable contemplation. The forms I make are familiar, specific, and recognizable; yet the circumstance in which they are presented can be uncomfortable though highly crafted. In a way, the objects become surrogates for my state of being, and a mechanism for me to engender analogous relationships with others.

Infinite Green


Infinite Green by Leticia Bajuyo

The above sculpture is one that I believe needs to be photographed in full color.  It is made from repurposed artificial grass and a push-mower salvaged from a neighbor's trash on trash day.  It is seen here in front of the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex.  Here is a quote from the website.

 INFINITE GREEN stirs the questions: What is ultimately sacrificed in an endless quest for the perfect lawn, the perfect home, the perfect life, the perfect version of the American Dream? To what end do our natural resources withstand overuse, and what price will we pay for their exploitation?

With Solid Sound and Stable Stance 



The photograph at the left is residing in front of the local ballpark.  It is entitled With Solid Sound and Stable Stance and is by artist Noah Kirby.  Here is what Noah has to say about his art.

Through my artwork I am exploring my place in our collective world; how to relate where I’m from with where I’m at. I endeavor to define my role as a contributor in a larger context, frequently taking a critical view of social, political and cultural issues that alienate how a singular individual relates in our collective culture. Often referencing my working class roots in labor and construction, I explore ideas of authority by juxtaposing my familiarity with trade oriented materials and processes with abstract forms and structures. My works are often partitions that create a separation or demarcate a boundary. I see them as moments of contingent space where the viewer is faced with the circumstance of their own authority. In asserting my place in the world in this manner I can express my class identity and connect with those that would value the constructed world as a meaningful place of our own collective creation.

Spike 


Spike by Vincent Houston

The sculpture above is found at our Civic Park.  I like the way the black and white photograph brings out the details of the sculpture.


Longshot

The photo to the right is one found at Fort Zumwalt  Park.  It is titled Longshot and is by Nathan Pierce.  Here is a quote from the website.

Nathan's large public sculptures reflect not only his personal interest in architectural forms, but also a belief that communication plays a fundamental role in our perceptions of the world we live in. His work has always dealt with the conflicts of confinement and freedom and exploring catalyst between the two: building or destroying communication. “The material I use and the process of my work is directly influenced by experience. Inspired by his many years in the construction business, the idea to create sculpture from those same materials seemed natural and permanent. The decision to utilize the benefits of structural steel in my work also comes from being inspired by the fabrication process. “I enjoy the dedication and commitment that is required with this material, it helps build character."


Per Aspera

Per Aspera by Melanie Reichert



I enjoyed photographing this one at our Renaud Center.   It was a bit challenging to photograph with cars and buildings all around and I wanted to have the sculpture stand out.  I like this one in color against the green bushes.  Here is a quote from the artist.

This is my first large scale sculpture. Steel is a very industrialized material and it’s important to me for my work to be very natural and earthy-- these materials are derived and purified from the Earth and I want to make an homage to the roots of where it has come from. This also ties into a theme of opposites that I portray in my work through the process of surface altercation.

Ambient Current


Ambient Current by Kurt Breshears

Here are the artists thoughts on his sculpture.

The concept behind this work is a philosophical and mathematical examination of patterns. In the written work The Critique of Judgement by philosopher Immanuel Kant, he discusses the way in which we use the concept of the universals of taste when judging the aesthetics of objects and their beauty. An example of this notion of universal ideas is that of mathematics. Employing the idea of mathematics in the work gives the work a sense of unity using math to achieve patterns. Based purely on numbers and patterns, M.C. Escher has been for me a lifelong influence. Being mindful of Kant’s ideas and Escher’s use of arithmetic, I believe that Ambient Current brings some semblance to visually pleasing and appealing art. It is the hope that the use of a heavy materials will convey the sense of how heavily weighted it is in our nature to judge things for beauty.



I hope you have enjoyed this small pictorial tour of the O'Fallon sculpture series.  There are several more sculptures in the parks along with some permanent sculptures.  I invite you to check them out at the website listed above or if you are in the area stop by and see for yourself.





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6 comments:

  1. Wow Mary Beth, I have to agree that you captured these sculptures in the best possible way, both with the black and white and color mode choices you made. I love that you have the artist and their impressions attached to their works. I will have to put O'Fallon on my map of places to visit for sure!

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  2. You always find the most interesting subjects to photograph, Mary Beth. And what fun to be able to do it in your own community. Thanks for giving us this interesting tour of the sculptures in O'Fallon, Missouri. Next time I'm in St. Louis to see my daughter, we will have to come see these sculptures.

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  3. Once again you have provided a temptation for a fun outing, or series of outings! I know were would enjoy seeking out these sculptures just for the fun of viewing and contemplating them. Of course, Spike would be my favorite.

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  4. Thank you so much for this vicarious tour of the current pieces in O’Fallon’s rotating sculpture series. It is fascinating to read the artist’s visions in their own words. I would love to see these unusual works of art in person, but your wonderful photographs are the next best thing.

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  5. These are amazing sculptures and it was interesting to learn the artist's reflections on their art. I love the way you chose to photograph in colour or black and white and I admire both the sculpture and your photography. It sounded like a wonderful way to spend the day! Thank you for sharing it with us.

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  6. I can see how these sculptures would be challenging and stimulating in many different ways. Art is such a vital element for our growth. Your community is obviously attuned to the importance of cultural immersion. Thanks for sharing your explorations and artistry with us. We all benefit.

    ReplyDelete

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