Category Archives: Art in Parks


Originally uploaded by marisa.landrigan

Location: Gateway Park, Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Sculpture by Jaume Plensa, stainless steel, 2007

Quoted from
Venture capitalist and philanthropist John Pappajohn has purchased a 25-foot-tall sculpture by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa as the signature piece for the sculpture garden Pappajohn wants to create in Des Moines’ downtown Gateway Park.

The piece, titled “Nomade,” is being shipped to Iowa from Florida, where it appeared…in Art Basel Miami Beach, an international art show… The sculpture is made of randomly arranged stainless steel letters that are painted white and welded in the shape of a person sitting with knees drawn up to the chest with arms around the knees. The artist has said the shape was based on a position that his son sometimes assumes.

“It will be so interactive with people,” said City Councilwoman Chris Hensley. “You can go in and walk around inside the sculpture and sit inside it. The lighting will make it spectacular at night.”

Nomade is lighted from the ground inside the sculpture…causing the inside of the letters to reflect the white enamel paint and the outside to take on a ghostly, dark presence.

flickr pic originally uploaded by broox

flickr pic originally uploaded by Don3rdSE

flickr pic originally uploaded by Erin Go Braugh 84

flickr pic originally uploaded by mondolind

flickr pic originally uploaded by cwwycoff1


Cloud Gate

The Cloud Gate

Originally uploaded by Intrepide98

Location: center of AT&T Plaza, Millennium Park, Chicago, USA

Artist: Anish Kapoor, stainless steel, 2004-06

Inspired by liquid mercury, the 110-ton elliptical sculpture is affectionately called “The Bean” by the locals. It is forged of a seamless series of highly polished stainless steel plates, which reflect the city’s famous skyline and the clouds above. A 12-foot-high arch provides a “gate” to the concave chamber beneath the sculpture, inviting visitors to touch its mirror-like surface and see their image reflected back from a variety of perspectives.  According to Kappor, “What I wanted to do… is make something that would engage the Chicago skyline…so that one will see the clouds kind of floating in, with those very tall buildings reflected in the work. And then, since it is in the form of a gate, the participant, the viewer, will be able to enter into this very deep chamber that does, in a way, the same thing to one’s reflection as the exterior of the piece is doing to the reflection of the city around.” (From


flickr pic originally uploaded by Ryanem


flickr pic originally uploaded by Michael Kappel


detail shot originally uploaded by Suranga13


flickr pic originally uploaded by ccfenter

Applied Art: Benches (Part 1)

From Wikipedia:

Applied art refers to the application of design and aesthetics to objects of function and everyday use. Whereas fine arts serve as intellectual stimulation to the viewer or academic sensibilities, the applied arts incorporate design and creative ideals to objects of utility, such as a cup, magazine or decorative park bench…

Here are some public benches and seats from some parts of the world that were given a bit of artistic twist:


Blue Carpet (detail) By Thomas Heatherwick, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK (flickr photo originally uploaded by Tony Worral)


Bench/Chair in the form of hands found in a subway in Taipei, Taiwan (flickr photo originally uploaded by joeychiu)


“Six Part Seating” by Scott Burton, red granite, (shot taken at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Washington, DC, 2008 and originally uploaded by kimberlyfaye for flickr)


Seats resembling electric chairs (detail): It is one of the artistic benches found along Paseo De Reforma, a main avenue of Mexico City, Mexico (flickr pic originally uploaded by aaaminicabs)


‘Eye Benches’ by Louise Bourgeois at Agnes R. Katz Plaza, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (flickr shot originally uploaded by hanneoria)


Flickr pic originally uploaded by Joel Abroad

Location: shot taken in Yamashita Park, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan for the Yokohama Triennale 2005

Sculpture by Luc Deleu, metal containers, 1999

Quoted from

Belgian architect/artist Luc Deleu’s motivation of wanting to erect (a) ‘container monument’, certainly amidst a sculpture park, is to jolt our perception of scale, or at least to render it more unstable… Being able… to walk around and between these pieces, we can experience them in a refreshing relationship with each other, the park and the wider environment. On the other hand, their inherent scale will provide an architectonic metaphor between the pieces of the collection in the artificial and new nature of the expansion.

The container installations may be described as mobile monuments, where both the theme and the material are universal, and thus applicable everywhere (‘orban’ monuments)…


flickr pic originally uploaded by McWild


flickr pic originally uploaded by kamoda


flickr pic originally uploaded by philippjbigg

Model Family

Photo originally uploaded by Hil

Location: Australia* (some photos taken in Werribee Park in 2007)

Artist: Gary Bottroff; polyester, fiberglass, plastic and various alloys, 2007

Australia’s Helen Lempriere National Sculpture Award 2007 awarded Guy Bottroff’s A Model Family sculptural installation the Highly Commended Prize for his work, ‘A Model Family.’ He was also given $3000.  His work consists of polyester, fiberglass, plastic and various alloys. According to an article in Werribee Banner: “It is an extremely clever transformation of the do-it-yourself model kit into a bigger than life-size modern family.”

*more information needed

2354297284_f2727d3d4cflickr photo originally uploaded by dylan coleman


flickr photo originally uploaded by Hil


flickr photo originally uploaded by williewonker

The Kiss

The Kiss

Originally uploaded by ststok

Location: Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Austin, Texas

Sculpture by Charles Umlauf, bronze, 1970

Quoted from wikipedia:
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden is a museum and outdoor sculpture garden centered around the artistic works of American sculptor Charles Umlauf…In 1985, Charles and Angeline Umlauf donated their home, studio, and 168 Umlauf sculptures to the City of Austin. Six years later, in 1991, the city built a museum to display the artwork on adjoining city property with private funds…

Quoted from Texas Home & Living:
The Kiss, a bronze that Umlauf created in 1970, pulls the eye to the central pond. As viewers slowly circle the water, textured with Louisiana iris and water cannas, the sculpture fully reveals itself…


flickr photo originally uploaded by wednesday181


flickr photo originally uploaded by mirsasha


flickr photo originally uploaded by rmwhittaker1012000

Typewriter Eraser, Scale X


Originally uploaded by william watson

Location: Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle, Washington, USA

Sculpture by: Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, stainless steel and resin painted with acrylic urethane, 1998-1999

Quoted from

Oldenburg and van Bruggen are known for their large-scale outdoor sculptures of popular commercial objects (e.g. large trowel in the Netherlands, a huge flashlight on the UNLV campus, giant binoculars in Venice, California)… Typewriter Eraser, Scale X is less identifiable because computer’s have made the object obsolete. This sculpture, formerly at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. looks kind of like a pizza cutter, or maybe a guitar.  The large wheel is the actual eraser portion, typically 2 inches in diameter and an eighth of an inch thick. The blue “hair” above is a brush meant to clear away paper dust and eraser crumbs.


flickr photo originally uploaded by paulpablopawel


flickr photo originally uploaded by Guided by voices