I have documented a number of pop up sculptures in Lake Park that are visible from Lincoln Memorial Drive. As I’ve mentioned before they have become touchstones or landmarks for me as I travel from Bay View to the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee campus. But in the late spring and summer they are very very hard to keep track of as the foliage surrounds them.
So it was with a great deal of excitement that I found a brand new one during my recent sojourns to campus. This one is on park property and easy to see. It is just immediately south of the gardens of the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. One of the other major installations is just immediately north of these same gardens, on private property, but clearly visible from the park…currently just a bit obscured by some of the luscious summer foliage. So here it is (and I apologize for the photos…they are washed out a bit by the mid-day summer sun):
and to get a better idea of their construction, here are some close ups of the components.
And in the meantime, it seems to me that two of the smaller original pieces have been removed. Whether by the artist, the county parks people, or a vandal I have no way of knowing. But here are the two that I think have now gone missing.
As fall starts to denude the trees and shrubs and puts the vines and undergrowth to sleep for the winter, we all need to watch for new additions to the unseen art in our midst.
and if you know who the artist is, I’d like to talk with them. They can remain anonymous if that’s their wish. Or if you see more around town, I’d like to be able to document them…so let me know about them, please: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since my discovery of a number of related public sculptures in Milwaukee’s Lake Park and my documentation of them here at An Intuitive Perspective, these sculptures have become touchstone landmarks for me as I travel from my home up along the lake front. I am disappointed when traffic volume requires all of my attention and I can’t spot them as I pass. First article from December 12, 2021 and Second from February 12, 2022.
So this past Monday, April 25, 2022, I was unbelieving when one of my favorites had been changed. So on my way home I had to check again and yes indeed, the sculpture had changed. Whether the change was completed by the original artist or another party, there is no way for me to know. I am leaning toward the originator and would hope that it hasn’t been ‘vandalized’ by someone else.
So what am I talking about? Well, here’s the original configuration of the sculpture, as I first encountered it.
As you can see the concrete discs are facing the park and street…but on Monday and on Wednesday April, 27, 2022 when I took the following photographs, we are now viewing them edgewise.
And of course sculpture is a three dimensional art form that should be experienced in the round…and setting these into a tree at the base of the bluff somewhat restricts viewing angles and maybe flattens out the sculpture. But turning the stones that ninety degrees now presents us with an entirely different sculpture and experience. I like it but I will admit to preferring the initial presentation.
So I will continue to enjoy my interactions with this wonderful pieces and see where we and they go from here.
And I am waiting for a warmer day to walk the lake front to see if there are other stealth hidden treasures in the park that I haven’t been able to discover from my car…whether there is more to find or not…it will be a remarkable experience nonetheless to explore Lake Park and environs on foot after too many years absence.
P.S. If anyone knows the artist, I would love to talk with them about their vision and practice.
Just two months ago I wrote the first post about some wonderful environmental sculptures that have popped up along Lincoln Memorial Drive in Milwaukee’s Lake Park area. These sculptures enhance the portion of the roadside that are wild and natural in our urban environment…and although parts of these are man made they are truly sensitive to their natural environments. Here is the original post: Stealth Public Sculpture In Milwaukee County’s Lake Park!
And although I am identifying their locations, if you visit them please be respectful of the work and their environment. These are truly a joy to experience.
This first one is relatively monumental compared to most of the others. It is very reminiscent of one of those that I documented in my original post (see below). Again, this one resides just west of Lincoln Memorial drive along the bluff near what any unreconstructed hippie of an older Milwaukee era would refer to as the alternate site. Here we see a number of oval discs that appear to be made of water washed and formed pieces of concrete and black top paving materials. I was able to get a bit closer to these so they may have had some human intervention to enhance the natural feel of eroded materials. But serious thought has been put into their placement and relationship to the space as well as finding the perfect fallen log for the base.
I didn’t notice this one until mid-January. This may have been the fourth piece that I felt in the back of my mind back in December but couldn’t find at the time. It may have required the full winter drought environment to become noticeable. Or it may be a newer piece.
This next piece is probably the most sober and for me the least successful…partly due to its stark nature and maybe because of the relationship of the living trees just beside it. This one is also west of LMD, across from the lagoon, about a half mile north of the Milwaukee Art Museum. This one is the nearest to the road. But instead of a piece of eroded paving material this one appears to be fashioned from a local piece of granite or quartz. More color than the other pieces.
And this third and final one is certainly a new one. Even last fall it would have clearly stood out from its surroundings. I saw it immediately during my first drive to UWM in January for the start of the spring semester. And a friend of mine, Beth Vandervort, who travels the bike trail along the bluff also commented on it on Facebook and posted a picture shortly after it appeared in January.
Now this is significantly different than all of the others. It doesn’t have any rock or pavement pieces attached to an onsite log or stump or fallen tree. It doesn’t elude a sense of calm or tranquility or sensitivity to place. Instead it is red and right in your face and as Beth said, this is “The Earth’s circulatory system revealed.”
So my question…is this the same artist or someone who felt the soul of the other pieces and is putting a new and different stamp on our psyche? What do you think?
This one is up on the bluff above the bicycle path west of LMD and just north of the Milwaukee Art Museum. But given its color it is currently very easy to spot from the drive.
I am concerned about these sculptures. I don’t remember seeing the first one that I documented in my previous post recently. So please be respectful of the sculptures and the environment if you go to visit them.
AND AGAIN: if any of you know the artist, please share that information in the comments section so that I can properly attribute these here. And if you are aware of other ones in the park, please leave the locations in the comments because I would like to go see them in the wild!
I would really really like to interview the artist. I have a lot of questions about how and why and the future! These are exciting pieces and warrant our respect and admiration.
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