Art in public spaces is not a new idea. We’ve been commemorating war heroes, civic leaders, explorers and others in bronze and stone for centuries. Yet, while these representations pay tribute to the great and the noble and add variety to the urban landscape, they don’t necessarily engage our mind or challenge our aesthetic senses. But that’s not to say it isn’t possible.
A couple of weeks ago on a damp, overcast Central New York day, a sculpture park opened in the least likely of places on the grounds of the former Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome.
The “Griffiss International Sculpture Garden” is comprised of nine pieces of public art installed at Griffiss Business and Technology Park. Griffiss Local Development Corporation (GLDC) conceived of the garden in conjunction with Sculpture Space, an internationally recognized Utica-based sculpture residency program. GLDC commissioned two pieces from artists and is borrowing seven others for a two-year period at which time the pieces will be purchased or returned to the artists.
The two permanent pieces are by Syracuse-based artist Tash Taskale and Utica-based artist Rainer Maria Wehner. The seven loaned works are by Swedish-born artist Katarina Isaksson, Utica-based artist Jonathan Kirk, Virginia artist John McCarty, New York City-based Lucia Warck Meister, Czech artist Cestmir Suska, Massachusetts artist William Tucker and Sculpture Space co-founder John von Bergen.
Sasaki, an internationally acclaimed landscape architecture firm, worked with organizers and the artists to select the ideal site for each piece. The result is a long conversation between individual works of art, the landscape and elements of nature that will change with the seasons.
More information can be found at: Syracuse.com