Saturday, March 01, 2014

Art Wall, Tanner Springs

I've already done quite a few posts about Tanner Springs Park, such that I have a blog tag devoted to it. Initially I didn't like the place at all, and snarked about it endlessly. I may have rushed to judgment slightly though; in recent years it's begun to grow into its role as an urban nature area. I mean, apart from the pond, which still has trouble with algae and introduced goldfish. The latter seem to attract herons though, so even that part counts as a sort of ecosystem. After looking over those old posts I realized I've never done one specifically about the art portion of the park, the recycled rail and fused glass wall along on the east side of the park. I figured it merited a separate treatment, given the ongoing public art project I've been so big on lately. So the rusty rail wall is called Art Wall, by Herbert Dreiseitl, whose firm designed the park as a whole. Its RACC page says:

The concept of the Artwall integrates the concept of the park itself. In one urban block the skin of city is peeled back to reveal the landscape before its industrial development. The wall is an element which thrives on the polarity between the site’s industrial past and the purity of its new nature. It is composed of 368 railroad tracks set on end and integrates 99 pieces of fused glass inset with images of dragonflies, spiders, amphibians and insects, like animals captured in amber—creatures of times and habitats long gone. The images were hand-painted by Herbert Dreiseitl directly onto Portland glass, which was then fused and melted to achieve the final effect.

If we want to nitpick, it looks like the city's been calling it "Artwall", while the Dreiseitl firm seems to call it "Art Wall"; I tend to go with the designer's name when sources disagree.

Assorted artsy links about the Artwall, and the park in general:

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