Posts Tagged ‘Notes from the Field’

Notes from the Field: Sligo-Dennis Avenue Local Park

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

This semester, AHCMC is launching an inventory of public art in Montgomery County under the direction of Dr. Michele Cohen, Public Art Contractor. Students from Montgomery College and George Mason University will collect information on the art works and provide readers with short photo-logs and blogs about what they’re finding in the field as they identify and survey the County’s sizable collection.

My survey partner, Sonia, and Ayana, Kyran, Dylan (my three kids) and I went to see more exterior sculptures. We simply loved it as much as the previous week. After visiting four different places in Silver Spring, and discovering four beautiful sculptures near four nice little parks, the kids still did not have enough of being detectives and wanted to see more — even after almost three hours of exploring. I am sure that every child would enjoy being a detective! I was too tired to continue, and it was a little cold, not counting that it was almost dinner time.

There is one piece in particular that touched me that is dedicated to anybody who lost a child because of drunk driving. It represents two little kids, a boy and a girl. Some sculptures make you think, imagine if you had lost your child this way? I cannot even think about it, I would go crazy. But if you just look at the sculpture, this is not what it prompts you to think about. The commemorative plaque conveys the message. A descriptive label can totally change how you look at something. I will let you discover this sculpture for yourself. If you ever feel the urge to go find it, here is a hint: it’s in the Sligo-Dennis Avenue Local Park in Silver Spring. Alright, I will also give you a second hint — its name is Whispers.

"Whispers" by Steve Weitzman in the Sligo Dennis Avenue Local Park, Silver Spring, MD

I would love to see more parents do what I do with my kids and share their experience. Like I said last week, art is so important for the good development of a child’s mind, but people usually see art just as making art and they forget that seeing art has the same importance, and maybe is more important. What people forget is that you don’t just have to see art in museums or galleries — just visit your nearest park. There might be a sculpture right there hiding behind a tree that you have never seen.

Notes from the Field: Flower Avenue Urban Park

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

This semester, AHCMC is launching an inventory of public art in Montgomery County under the direction of Dr. Michele Cohen, Public Art Contractor. Students from Montgomery College and George Mason University will collect information on the art works and provide readers with short photo-logs and blogs about what they’re finding in the field as they identify and survey the County’s sizable collection.

"Faces of Flower Avenue" by George F. Fishman (1992)

Last week, Sonia (my coworker this semester), my three children and I inventoried and inspected some of the Public Art Trust’s outdoor sculptures including one at the Flower Avenue Urban Park (pictured here). My kids–Ayana, Kyran, and Dylan–had great fun being detectives looking for sculptures hiding in parks. The sculptures were very nice and almost all of them were in parks with busy playgrounds. Unfortunately, nobody paid any attention to the sculptures because they were not located close enough to the playgrounds. I think if the sculptures were integrated with the playground they would be more appreciated.

When we asked people what they thought about the pieces, they all replied that they liked them but they also agreed that the sculptures were a little isolated. It is unfortunate to have such nice sculptures and have them so isolated or have them in the wrong location.

Once they discovered the near-by playgrounds, my children forgot that the sculptures even existed. This is the main reason why I believe that placing these sculptures closer to the playgrounds would be a plus and kids would be exposed to art while they played. Not everybody has the chance to have a mum or a dad that is an artist, like I am, and that will take them on expeditions to see art for the fun and the pleasure of discovery. Art surrounds us and what better way to explore its wonder than while playing with your child?