Archive for Friday, August 19, 2011

After dazzling visitors to KU campus for two years, sculpture surrounding tree cut down on Friday

The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler," in front of Spooner Hall at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. Some pieces of the sculpture will be used in other places around campus.

The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler," in front of Spooner Hall at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. Some pieces of the sculpture will be used in other places around campus.

August 19, 2011

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The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler," at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. The removal Friday was not related to storms that hit the area overnight but was because the tree supporting the sculpture was dying. Parts of the sculpture will be recycled and used in other ways across campus.

The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler," at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. The removal Friday was not related to storms that hit the area overnight but was because the tree supporting the sculpture was dying. Parts of the sculpture will be recycled and used in other ways across campus.

The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler" at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. Parts of the sculpture will be recycled and used in other ways across campus.

The temporary wood sculpture "The Bedazzler" at the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Boulevard since 2009, was taken down Friday, August 19, 2011. Parts of the sculpture will be recycled and used in other ways across campus.

Kansas University crews spent Friday afternoon chopping up a tangled web of sticks and the tree they surrounded to create a beloved piece of art near KU’s Spooner Hall called “The Bedazzler.”

That’s OK, though, said Saralyn Reece Hardy, director of KU’s Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art. This was the plan all along.

Artist Patrick Dougherty created the sculpture around a dying tree in 2009 as part of an exhibition called “Trees & Other Ramifications: Branches in Nature & Culture.” This project actually stood longer than most of Dougherty’s works, which are designed to be temporary, Hardy said.

“He wishes his work to be seen as a natural process and doesn’t ever want it to be seen as permanent,” she said. “He has felt that part of the beauty of the work is in its transience.”

Still, in its high-traffic location, Friday’s work acquired many fans, Hardy said.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!” wrote Lawrence resident Nick Schmiedeler on the Spencer Museum of Art’s Facebook page, after a post showed photos of the work being taken down.

During its life, the sculpture was home to picnics, classes and even a few wedding proposals, Hardy said.

The museum was in contact with the artist throughout the sculpture’s life, she said, and she said she was glad that the sculpture could remain up for KU’s new student orientation this year so as many people could view it as possible.

Hardy said this likely won’t be the last work of art that graces the university’s campus on a temporary basis.

“There will be more,” she said.

Comments

consumer1 3 years, 9 months ago

That was a wonderful piece of art. sorry to see it go. True creativity.

parrothead8 3 years, 9 months ago

Agreed. One of the coolest pieces of art I've ever seen.

lunacydetector 3 years, 9 months ago

what a shame....that was the neatest piece of outdoor artwork in all of lawrence.

MarcoPogo 3 years, 9 months ago

The arch sculpture is still at South Park, right? That's a good one as well.

Gene Wallace 3 years, 9 months ago

The "sculpture" was killing the tree. The tree wasn't dying before the sculpture was erected.

Kirk Larson 3 years, 9 months ago

The tree was dead or dying when it went up. I remember thinking it was due to be cut down at the time.

Graczyk 3 years, 9 months ago

I had heard that the tree had Dutch Elm Disease.

janatig 3 years, 9 months ago

Not true: http://cjonline.com/news/2009-06-12/sculpture_is_swirl_of_saplings#.Tk8NP10lJgg

"Freeman said the elm tree at the center of the sculpture is diseased and eventually would have been cut down. As the tree dies, its branches will be cut flush with the sculpture."

verity 3 years, 9 months ago

Ohhh, Mrs Autie gona be mad when she finds out bout that baby momma.

verity 3 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't they have just let it disintegrate naturally? That would have been even better than the original work---but maybe that would have become a safety hazard.

boothillbilly 3 years, 9 months ago

Good riddance to bad rubbish. That thing was an eyesore.

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

And this is why we need to expose Kansas children to the arts. This piece was created by a world class artist whose sculptures have garnered the highest praise around the world. They are enjoyed and revered by both 'elitist art critics' and children and most everyone who has the good fortune to see them. Unfortunately, Boothillbilly apparently has not had the pleasure of simply enjoying something that isn't what he/she sees everyday.

Daniel Kennamore 3 years, 9 months ago

Just because somebody disagree with you on the whether or not a particular piece is good doesn't mean they are an uncultured person who just 'doesn't get it'.

I frequent art museums, and several of my friends are art history majors at KU. We all think it was awful.

kantubek 3 years, 9 months ago

It was a nice work of art but it severely limited visibility for cars stopping at the top of 14th street. Move along, nothing left to see.

Bill Woodard 3 years, 9 months ago

For those who were wondering, the tree was indeed dying prior to the sculpture; it was afflicted with a root disease called verticillum wilt. The condition of the tree had digressed to the point that it was considered a potential hazard. The sculpture was up for 27 months, which is longer than Dougherty's works typically last. If you're interested in seeing more of his art, here's the link to his website: http://www.stickwork.net/

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

Thanks for the info, Bill. Dougherty's work is fantastic. I think a good number of people in Lawrence had no idea of the honor it is to have work of that caliber here in town even temporarily.

WilburM 3 years, 9 months ago

Great work of art, that evolved over its 27 months. Went by it every day, and it always attracted attention and wonder. And cars zooming by the traffic kiosk are lots more problematic than the sculpture. thanks to the Spencer for bringing Patrick Dougherty in, to construct this work of art.

Mercat 3 years, 9 months ago

Loved the work. Glad to hear it didn't kill the tree.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Another aspect of revisionist "art elite" making decisions for the masses. There was NO NEED to take down this wonderful piece.

Arrogance and ignorance abounds within the "art" "community" of KU. Bunch of overpaid idiots. And people wonder why Brownback destroyed public funding for the arts in Kansas? How is this bonehead decision any different?

That piece was one of the few reasons to truck about Snob Hill. Too many darn misandrists up there on that hill at this place in time. One day a real rain is going fall.....

overthemoon 3 years, 9 months ago

It was the original plan to take it down in two years. I talked to Dougherty about the 'end plan' when he was here working on it. It becomes unstable, and unsafe as it degrades and the tree was also becoming a hazard.

Alceste 3 years, 9 months ago

Piffle. The "abstract" sculptures about the town have rust on them. They're dangerous. Take 'em down. Same logic.

Write2Know 3 years, 9 months ago

That would have made a nice bonfire to start off the new school year.

classclown 3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how many people are going to have to find a new place to live.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 9 months ago

I loved it but wish it could have ended in a firetruck attended bonfire!~)

Frederic Gutknecht IV 3 years, 9 months ago

I loved it but wish it could have ended in a firetruck attended bonfire!~)

blindrabbit 3 years, 9 months ago

Don't think it had Dutch Elm Disease since it was a dying Sugar Maple

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