Sculptors Jay Silber (left) and Etty Horowitz discussing art in front of Barbara Hepworth’s Squares with Two Circles (Monolith) at the Nasher Sculpture Garden.
The Texas Sculpture Association celebrated 25 years of supporting and cultivating North Texas’ thriving community of sculptors. The three-day event included parties, tours, lots of food, and a Saturday symposium which I had the privilege of attending (though sculptor I am not) at the Nasher Sculpture Center.
Our day started with a breakfast provided by Dunkin’Donuts. I had it in my head that there would be a huge sculpture made entirely of donuts greeting me at the entrance, but no, they were boxed (but delicious).
I sat next to a lovely woman named Etty Horowitz. Etty was an architect in her native Israel before moving to Arlington and studying sculpture at TCU. If you’ve been to Dallas’ Beckley-Saner Recreation Center lately, that’s her stainless steel and concrete sculpture Family Tree gracing the lawn. In addition to Public Art pieces, Etty explores the juxtaposition of beauty and torture; a few years ago, she created a series of human-sized aluminum corsets for a gallery show. She does it all herself. I am impressed.
After making new friends, a panel discussion on Collecting, Public Art, and Sculpture Trends began with Thom Andriola of New Art Gallery, Ashley Tatum Casson from Gerald Peters Gallery, Public Art specialist Margaret Robinette, Kevin Vogel of Valley House Gallery, and moderator/Art&Seek blogger Gail Sachson. I learned:
- “Painters yield control to the gallery more often than sculptors do.”
- “Paintings are like windows; sculptures are like beings.”
- A family in Houston collects artwork from the YBAs – that’s Young British Artists to you and me and a group with which I am obsessed, a group whose members include Damien Hirst, Gillian Wearing, Phil Collins of recent Dallas Museum of Art glory, and my personal favorite, the theatrical Sam Taylor-Wood. I strongly encourage at least two families in North Texas to out-collect Houston on YBA artwork, because this is Texas and I want us to win.
- Sculptors must embrace marketing, the internet, and collaboration.
- The value of the word “artist” has been lost in society.
- The media is hard and critical on public art.
- The City of Dallas receives a lot of harsh e-mail from citizens who don’t like its public art, but not much from the appreciative folk.
- Public art attracts vandalism.
Do this: find public art in your town that you love and post it to the Art&Seek Flickr page. You are allowed to touch public art. You can be in the picture. I will do the same. When we grow mighty at this task we will challenge Houston to a duel. Get started.