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In August, a large-scale, participatory sculpture was built by volunteers from all over the community called The Rhizomatic Grotto. Now, the folks at the Springfield Art Museum, Drury University’s Art of Space collective and sculptor Blaine Whisenhunt are requesting to transform the project once again. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers has this report.
Right now, I am standing just east of the Springfield Art Museum next to a large community-built wooden sculpture made of over 500 shipping pallets. As monumental as the sculpture is, the museum is now inviting the public to submit their ideas on how to revamp this mighty sculpture.
“Well, we have seen it this way for this long. Let’s see if, since it’s such a community project, if somebody has an idea of what we can do to make it different… and we don’t really have anything in mind, we are just hoping someone has a great idea on how it could have a new life,” said Buhr.
That’s Sarah Buhr, curator of art at the museum. She loves the project because it brought together community members who otherwise wouldn’t interact. After getting to watch the Grotto for a few months, she’s also noticed that the large scale outdoor art work has made the museum more pedestrian friendly.
As I admire the Grotto, two young boys are playing on the tower of pallets. Their mom, Miki Hinrichs, lives in the neighborhood and takes her kids here to play all of the time.
“I am really amazed that people can get together and make this shape. Just the idea of community project, that’s wonderful and using the art in the space,” said Hinrichs.
Her friend, Kirstey Robbie, agrees.
“It’s like they are kind of layered together and then they build up together and it’s basically just made together so, I can see how it stands for unity,” said Robbie.
By including Springfield residents in its construction, this work aims to illuminate the underlying interdependency shared with one another as members of a community. All proposals for the transformation of The Rhizomatic Grotto should remain in the spirit of participatory activity, involving volunteer support to create and complete it. Proposals to alter, adjust, stuff, paint, wrap, or augment the existing structure are to be sent to Sara Buhr at the Springfield Art Museum. The deadline is Jan. 15th.
Springfield Art Museum Information:
artmuseum [at] springfieldmo [dot] gov