Monday, December 27, 2021

Public Art and Self-Expression


One of the things I love about Columbia/HoCo is the ongoing commitment to public art. Whether it’s the familiar sight of statues down at the Lakefront, or the annually appearing ARTSites pieces, there’s something wonderful about these varied examples of artistic expression scattered throughout our community.

My new favorite is located at Clarksville Commons. Although it is named “The Pleiades” it reminded me of a Christmas tree. Perhaps that’s because I was there for an outdoor holiday concert. Who knows? Here it is. See what you think.

Now here is where it all goes a bit sideways. Seeing this sculpture put me in mind of the year we were stuck inside due to snow and I attempted to create a Christmas tree with what I had on hand.

I am sorry to say that my efforts were not appreciated. That being said, I was rather tickled with my efforts. Perhaps they were not without value, as they produced a rather strenuous effort to get out of the house and locate a “real” tree.

We all have within us artistic impulses. I don’t think we get enough encouragement along the way, but, that’s probably another blog post altogether. My opinions on this have been reinforced this week by some photos* shared by friends.

One artistic series began with this explanation: 

Our neighbors left these chairs out last Wednesday for the recycling truck to pick up. They clearly were never going to be picked up - but these particular neighbors leave stuff like this out all the time. My husband has been moving them and posting photos and descriptions of his art installations daily since Thursday.

And, from the artist himself, a poignant postscript:

Installation 4 “Armageddon/Dawn (green)”. The foreshadowing of the previous pieces in the series come to fruition in this dynamic and troubling scene. The individuals are cast into the maw as the central figure hangs suspended in space hinting at fleeting freedom.

You can imagine my surprise yesterday, when another friend - - completely unrelated to the first - - posted the following:

U N K N O W N 〰️ Artist - unknown

Title - Unknown

Location - Long Gate Shopping Center

I like to think this is a meditation of capitalist consumerism during the holidays.

Two local examples hardly constitute a trend, but, for the purposes of this post, I’m going to pretend they do. Go forth and make art. Express yourself. Be whimsical. Be bold. 

But I’m going to suggest that, in the case of suggest Citizen Art Installations, you have the good grace to clean up after yourself when you are done. First, though: send me photos.

*All photographs used with permission.

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