Olive Link Sculpture Park

  • Framing the Land: An Edifice by Madeline Marak.
    Framing the Land: An Edifice by Madeline Marak.
  • Amblyopic Threshold by Garrett Clough.
    Amblyopic Threshold by Garrett Clough.
  • Installation of Recycled Flower Arrangement by Austin Wolf.
    Installation of Recycled Flower Arrangement by Austin Wolf.
  • Installation of collaborative pavilion designed by Garrett Clough, Madeline Marak, and Austin Wolf.
    Installation of collaborative pavilion designed by Garrett Clough, Madeline Marak, and Austin Wolf.
  • Balloon Chairs by Vita Eruhimovitz. Photo by Zachery Green.
    Balloon Chairs by Vita Eruhimovitz. Photo by Zachery Green.

As part of a spring 2015 master class, MFA students Garret Clough, Vita Eruhimovitz, Madeline Marak, and Austin Wolf worked with professor Ron Fondaw to develop, propose, and install sculptural works at the intersection of Olive and Midland Boulevards in University City. The pieces were commissioned by the City of University City as part of a broader effort to reinvent Olive Boulevard. The students worked with representatives from the Department of Community Development, the University City Chamber of Commerce, and the University City Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters.

University City has a renewed focus on improving vacant lots throughout the community. The Department of Community Development hosted two Better Blocks events, inviting neighbors and community members to bring their visions for the future of the lots. Ultimately the city decided to move forward with a plan to create a sculpture park to transform one of these vacant lots, which sits in the floodplain of the River des Peres, into a vibrant attraction. The sculpture park is expected to be temporary but will hopefully inspire developers to invest in vacant lots along the Olive corridor.

Garret Clough's Amblyopic Threshold is an interactive piece that reminds viewers that seeing the city is an active process. The eyes move from open to shut, and the gabion baskets, filled with concrete and rubble and stacked into an archway, manifest the age of information in a physical form. The archway creates a connection from north to south, embodying the ever-present challenge to rebuild a solid structure from a broken past.

Vita Eruhimovitz's Balloon Chairs are constructed from steel skeletons that were wrapped in metal mesh, then covered in three layers of mortar. The chairs are playful and friendly, providing an interactive seat for visitors to the park.

Madeline Marak’s Framing the Land: An Edifice is a greenhouse constructed from steel wrapped in green retro-reflective sheeting. The piece frames the existing grass on the site, showing the beauty in aspects of nature that are often overlooked while reminding people of the power they have to preserve and improve their communities.

Austin Wolf's Recycled Flower Arrangement consists of a concrete mixer drum that is anchored upright in the ground and flowers created from industrial scrap, including car parts and construction fencing. The piece attempts to alter "our appreciation of the labor and industry that comprises the St. Louis region.” It is intended to bridge the gap between north and south University City while creating a public conversation about the use of vacant lots within the community.

In addition to these individual pieces, Marak, Wolf, and Clough collaborated on Pavilion, a sculpture that doubles as a congregational space. The piece combines the natural and the industrial: the posts are sourced from logs from Heman Park in University City, and the roof is made of pressure-treated lumber. This pairing reflects the juxtaposition of the park property, as a large outdoor space with a connection to nature and a connection with Olive Boulevard, a busy commercial corridor.
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Media

Coverage on the Olive Link blog>>

Partners

University City Department of Community Development

Additional support provided by the University City Chamber of Commerce and the University City Municipal Commission on Arts & Letters.