Friday, January 2, 2009

Public Art Part III - Washington Park and the Kolowisi

Washington Park is at the intersection of Park and 10th Streets. The park was developed on the site of the old Washington Junior High School, in the 1990s. Washington Middle School students helped with some of the projects. At the corner of the park stand these three spindle-like mosaic towers. The colors are so vibrant, and each tower has a personality of its own.

This blue and white pillar - the center one - has messages, written by the middle school children, about their neighborhood and their neighbors. One of my favorites (you can see it in the close-up photo below) reads, "When I was 3 years old I'd take the neighbor two eggs and she would cook them up for me. My neighbor made good eggs."

This next one could startle you, if you were walking down the sidewalk at 8th and Lomas, where this big cubist-style snake sits. Its mid-section makes four arches over the sidewalk, through which you can walk. This sculpture is called "Kolowisi," which is the Zuni name for "Plumed Serpent." My understanding is that this serpent used to be red on the outside and orange on the inside, but its current pinkish-purple shade is probably the result of its 26 years of exposure to the New Mexican sunshine.

No! This isn't really a piece of public art. It's just a fireplug with a little graffiti on it. I was just checking to see if any of you are still awake.

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