YOUR BUSINESS AUTHORITY

Springfield, MO

ON THE SQUARE: “Gorgonia” brightens up the Heer’s.
ON THE SQUARE: “Gorgonia” brightens up the Heer’s.

Opinion: Public art advancing in center city

Posted online
Some cities do public art sculptures well. In most cases, big cities equal big art.

However, a business trip to Des Moines, Iowa, last year proved to me the size of a city doesn’t dictate the size of its art. Des Moines’ 4.4-acre Pappajohn Sculpture Park rivals any metropolitan art space in the country.

I can now say Springfield is farther along on that path.

For the second year, private funding merged with arts and community organizations to deliver the Sculpture Walk in downtown Springfield. The presenting sponsor is again the McQueary family and a long list of companies and individuals followed suit. Corporate sponsors include Conco Cos., U.S. Bank and Ridewell Suspensions. The community groups involved are those you might expect: Springfield Regional Arts Council, Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Springfield Art Museum.

The vision and the resources come together for 22 art sculptures placed between Walnut and Mill streets and from Kimbrough to Grant avenues. That’s up from 14 in last year’s Sculpture Walk. I think there’s only one repeat.

In late June, Springfield Business Journal staff attended a business journal conference in Dallas. Oaf course, my eyes were peering for the public art. It’s there, but scattered. Not in the way of knocking your socks off, either, but a couple pieces are worth scouting: 1. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial – it’s history, humanity, aesthetics and solitude all wrapped up into one. 2. “Eye” – it’s a 30-foot eyeball sculpture in downtown Dallas; enough said.

I found what I was looking for in these two, but there just wasn’t much else. In fact, I’ve since learned our host publication, D Magazine, published an article several years ago titled, “Why Isn’t Dallas’ Public Art Any Good?” It’s a work in progress.

So is Springfield’s, and we should take note.

After my trip to Des Moines, I wrote a column calling for bolder and bigger public art. We haven’t seen expanded greenspace since The Commons in Jordan Valley Park, but we do have more sculptures. And that’s refreshing.

Come downtown. Take a stroll, and take in the quality designs from artists like Ben Pierce, Larry Young, Craig Snyder and Jacob Burmood.

“Xuberant!” on Park Central Square and “Maestro” and “Eggcited” a half-block north will just make you smile. “Sunflowers” across from SBJ’s office and “Depth of Form” outside the new bus terminal are contemplative pieces, while “Natural Balance” and “Windy Tower” incorporate outdoor elements.

Take a look for yourself at the city’s new look.

Springfield Business Journal Editor Eric Olson can be reached at eolson@sbj.net.

Comments

No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick

Startup Corner: Eden Garrett, Eden’s Flower Truck

The 21-year-old is working to graduate in May while cultivating her small business.

Most Read
SBJ Live logo
MOST-WATCHED VIDEOS
Best Advice - Live by Principles

"We all want to build something, we all want to do something fun," says Tez Ward, a financial adviser with Morgan Stanley. "But then once it's built, we set it to the side and move on." Ward says the …

Demand Pull Inventory Control “We’re doing really complicated math, forecasting way in the spring, what we’re gonna need in inventory by what date,” says Shawn Askinosie, the Founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate. The …
Need to Focus Leads to Sale of Business “It’s been hard for me to choose. There is a point when I knew I needed to focus on one of these businesses,” says Elle Feldman, owner of Elle’s Patisserie and Lavare Spa (now rebranded as …
My Mentor - My Teammate in Life “He was a strong man of faith and courage and very wise - my biggest supporter in any endeavor in life,” says Tami North, Executive Director of the Rogersville Area Chamber of Commerce and one of …
From Cutbacks to Cutting Tracks “Every day you’ve gotta wake up and say, ‘I’ve gotta make money today,’ says, Ricky Smiley, Founder and Producer of Smiley Records, LLC. When Smiley was laid off from a job he held for 18 …