Art Park, the Woodson Art Museum’s interactive gallery, is arguably one of the most popular spaces at 700 N. 12th Street.
At present, Art Park visitors are met with Art Deco motifs like arches and sleek patterns alongside acrylic objects that mimic glass, awaiting construction and embellishment from North Central Wisconsin’s intergenerational community of creatives.
While the spring glass exhibitions are well underway, team Art Park is now focused on our next round of re-landscaping for the summer exhibition, Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm, and Field. Abundant Future consists of botanical artworks depicting cultivated plant species such as eggplants, radishes, and ancient grains like millet and sorghum.
As is the case with most education department construction projects, ideas are born, debated, and executed in the workshop. The relationship between cultivated plants, whether for fashion or food, and consumers must have planted a Pop-Art seed in our minds because we decided oversized produce creations would be a feature in Art Park this summer. A bountiful, one may even say “abundant,” bowl of produce functions as a large-scale arrangement for sketching a still life and serves as a high-impact fixture for the upcoming Art Park installation.
Using sheets of insulation foam – stacked, glued, and carved – a three-foot-tall pear is taking shape, ready for more carving, coating, and painting. Waiting in the wings are a jalapeño and a seven-and-a-half-foot peapod, which will be transformed into a bench.
Despite a sluggish start to spring, local gardeners, growers, and greenhouses are planning and preparing for the arrival of warmer weather. At the Woodson, team Art Park will be busy at work, too, in the hopes of growing more larger-than-life fruits and vegetables in time for a cornucopia of creativity this summer.
What cultivated plants would you like to see in Art Park? Comment on this blog’s post on social media with your suggestions for our next foam-grown specimen.