art of the day

Submitted by Susan Miller on Thu, 05/24/2007 - 06:49.

Who is the artist and where is this public art located?
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Here's a hint

Thank you for bring this to our attention!

I am not going to give it away! Though I knew nothing about this sculptural environment until I talked to Susan yesterday, I have have noticed these glass and steel structures before. I think they are beautifully constructed and very witty. They seem to present some interesting tensions that can be appreciated even while just driving by - natural vs. man made, city vs. forest, fragile vs. strong. I did get out of the car and stop to look at them up close. I will have to visit again because I did not realize that there are other elements (tiles, lighting) to this environment.

As a hint, this art project is located near the office of a famous Cleveland Architect who often uses glass in interesting ways and he loves to design landscapes that include ornamental trees.

the where

very good, Jeff!

Now does anyone know the artist yet?

Here's another clue The funders and the organizations that commissioned it.

the artist -- Penny Rakoff


The artist is Penny Rakoff. I ran into her in the neighborhood and mentioned that I am trying to figure out why our esteemed County Commissioners Hagan and Dimora want to demolish the Breuer Tower. She added a new perspective -- one I hadn't considered. She is the artist who worked over the last three years to make that corner an art park. But unless you go there and find the tiles with the credits on them, you might never know. There has been no news, no coverage, not even a credit on the website of the sponsor(s).

The park was dedicated in 2006 after three arduous years and $1.2 million dollars (check the Parkworks site linked above for the parties -- not the artist designers). Apparently the utilities running under that point posed many obstacles. The place is in bad shape though now after only a few months. She said the lights are never on. Martha Eakin and I visited and noticed that the grass on the planters has mostly died and the drinking fountain is inoperable. Still, the space was lively with activity, and we spoke with a couple of women who work in a building near there who said that many people in the apartment building next door (which allows dogs) hang out with their dogs there (there was a well stocked doggie bag dispenser and no "evidence" of pets). On Wednesday afternoon, a couple of families gathered, and many folks leaving work passed through the park.

Since this may become a staging area for the tear down of the Breuer Tower, we can add $1.2 million in loss of embodied energy to the county administration building project (currently running at $35 million). The city's policy according to one source is called "significant deferred maintenance". This is probably the precursor to blight and eminent domain. It just seems radically wrong to invest that much time and creativity and money only to raze that too to make room for construction equipment.

The tiles are old postcards of older structures in the area; some still stand, others don't. Is it art as prophecy?

Maybe Penny will chime in here...

What an important observation and irony

Thanks for sharing these really unique perspectives and raising more awareness of this excellent site and work - I'm in that area a lot and enjoy the space and art. I agree this work and the artist should have received much greater recognition for this and it should be a major issue regarding the Breuer. Very smart to add this to the analysis.

As to "Is it art as prophecy?" it certainly seems so. Let's make sure the Breuer and the Rakoff remain in this picture.

Disrupt IT

This space...

This space is on a beeline (Huron Rd.) from AJ Rocco's to the western end of CSU's campus so I have walked through this space a few times.  I think it's a nice use of urban space. 

Doesn't Ms. Rakoff do lots of RTA art.  I have heard that name before...