Friday, August 28, 2009

River Shards

One encouraging development in the area where I live has occurred at the former site of an industrial eyesore. The area once occupied by the abandoned Uniroyal factory in Mishawaka, Indiana is now a very pleasant park, named after former mayor Robert Beutter. The Uniroyal buildings were imploded on June 17, 2000, and in subsequent years the debris and pollution left behind by Uniroyal and its predecessor, Ball Band, have been cleaned up and the park has been established.

Demolition of the smokestack at the Uniroyal power plant, June 17, 2000

I stopped by the park yesterday and took a few pictures, a couple of which I'm posting here. A prominent feature of the park is a large reflective sculpture.

"River Shards," sculpture by Jan R. Martin, Beutter Park, Mishawaka, Indiana
"Hibiscus, Shards, Self," Photo by David A. Cory

From Mayor Jeff Rea's 2006 state of the city address:
The artist explained that his concept evolved from the park design that was developed by landscape architect,  Eric Ernstberger, of Rundel  & Ernstberger Associates. Mr. Martin stated “Mr.  Ernstberger envisioned three or four large vertical formations that would have a visual relationship to nature.  Starting with these parameters I began to choreograph in my mind a grouping of distorted mineral crystals displayed in monumental scale.  I decided it was important to try to unite the sculpture with the land and the water and therefore, the towers emerge from the bank of the channel.  A third, shorter tower is surrounded completely by water.  A  long horizontal section is supported by two of the towers and is used to create tension and visual emotion. This also serves to direct one's attention back toward the park.  I used mirror finished stainless to reflect the sky, the rive  and the people who come to watch the water flow over the weirs.”  The sculpture was started in January (2005) and is the result of over 1,500 hours of  labor of the artist. 

See more nature pictures at Rambling Woods


ramblingwoods said...

Hello David! It is nice to see something positive being done with these old industrial sites. I find the sculpture very interesting. Sadly I also wonder how some kids could come along and damage it.. It's difficult to keep things nice. Nice to see you here for Nature Notes. Have a great weekend! --Michelle--

#167 Dad said...

Really dig "Hibiscus Shards of Self". Wild.
Those are a couple of monster Hibiscus blooms.
As a novice photographer, I always enjoy your shots...


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