Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A big fan of sculpture

Next time you’re thinking of throwing out a fan, think of throwing it at Bruce Parker. Well, not exactly at him, but maybe in his direction.

Taking inspiration from a growing collection of discarded fans, the local contractor has just installed his first piece of public art. The piece, entitled Davis Street Propeller Bush, was “unveiled” last week and is ready for viewing in Lori Beckman’s front yard at 115 W. Davis Street.

The “whimsical recycled kinetic art” stands not only as a reflection of Parker’s affinity for recycling materials but also as a creative solution to a common village problem: what to do with the exasperating honeysuckle.

“Laurie didn’t want to chop the honeysuckle tree down entirely,” Parker said in a recent interview, explaining the unique location of his artwork, “but she didn’t want it to grow either.”

Using the honeysuckle as a foundation, Parker combined plastic corrugated drain pipe, threaded rods, assorted fan blades, spray paint, and a sense of humor to create the piece which took an unexpected turn ― many turns, in fact ― as Parker completed the installation.

“That was an extra bonus,” said Parker of the pinwheel effect. “I wasn’t planning the movement ahead of time.”

Last year, Parker entered seven different designs in the 2009 Yellow Springs Outdoor Sculpture competition but none was selected as a finalist. Since then, he has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to display his public art sensibility. In some ways, Parker’s “public art” has been displayed all over town since he opened his business, Azur Contracting, in 1986. The village currently boasts 13 homes he has designed and built along with numerous remodeling projects.

“I had such a fun time,” he said, recalling the creativity that went into his contest submissions. “Afterwards, my mom [long-time villager Donna Cottrell] was encouraging me to keep pursuing it. She said, ‘You should do something with that bush down at Lori’s house.’”

Encouraged by the positive feedback and his mom’s support, Parker is looking for more public art opportunities.

“Now she wants me to do the same thing in front of US Bank,” he added with a grin.

video and article by Susan Gartner -- May 4, 2010
posted to A Yellow Springs Blog -- May 5, 2010