Thursday, September 29, 2016

Temporary Sculpture Installations in Urbana and Allerton Park

I've been giving a lot of time and effort lately getting ready for a double installation in Urbana and Allerton Park near Monticello, Illinois.  This 2 year lease was arranged by the Public Art League of Champaign and made possible through private sponsors.
 Monday, September 26, I rented a 24' flat bed truck from Thrifty Rental of Louisville.  In the afternoon, Dereck Sheroan of JBB, Inc. showed up to load the two large pieces.  Here's a link to a time lapse of that event on YouTube that features one of my favorite music tracks from Ronald Jenkees:  This sculpture is "New Leaf"...
 ... and this one is "Shooting Star".
 Wednesday morning, I showed up at the site on the corner of Race and Water in Urbana.  I installed "New Leaf" with the help of a 40 ton crane from Nash Crane Services which was arranged by Pauline Tannos, Public Art Coordinator with the City of Urbana.  After the installation, I was able to see some of Urbana's other public sculptures as I finished up paperwork with Eric Robeson of the Public Art League.
 Then, I drove the 35 miles down to Allerton Park.  I had no idea what I was in for - Allerton Park was a completely unexpected treat.  Here's a link to their website:
I will have to go back in a couple of years, but this time I will schedule a block of time so that I can adequately explore the place.  The founder, Robert Allerton, was an artist and art lover / collector (among many, many other things).  I think he would be very happy to know that there is a strong program in place now for bringing new works of art to the estate, which is now being run by the University of Illinois.
Derek Peterson, Associate Director of Allerton Park & Retreat Center, was my contact person.  He had picked a site near the Visitor's Center and provided this large telescoping forklift.  When I arrived, I found the site being prepared; I was very happy to see the sub-bed of recycled masonry being packed and leveled.  Three employees, Micah, Tom and Peter were there throughout the entire installation - I'm very grateful for their help!
This is "Shooting Star" in its temporary site and behind it is Peter who operated the forklift.  We had to stretch the 3,500 lb. piece quite a distance; nerve wracking for me.  It had been very worrisome for me to try 2 major installations on the same day, but things went super-smooth.  The 6 hour trip back was no problem at all - a little torrential rain, just part of the game.  Now... I put it all in the hands of Fate and hope that one or both pieces will become permanent acquisitions.

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