SculpTour: Dramatic displays of sculpturePublished 10:41am Thursday, September 13, 2012
One of my favorite things to do is Krasl Art Center’s SculpTour. The art collection is ever-growing and ever-changing; it never gets old. On top of that, the sculptures vary with their environment, looking different on a cloudy day than a sunny one. Like a scavenger hunt, it is a good excuse to get out and explore.
From the towering “And You, Seas” on St. Joseph’s south pier to “Regeneration” at Andrews University in Berrien Springs and “Smoke Signal” in Benton Harbor at Lake Michigan College, the SculpTour guides visitors through a collection of stunning sculptures in Berrien County. The self-directed tour lists more than 30 works of art and where to find them.
“It’s a great way to learn more about art,” said Tami Miller, curator at Krasl, “and get to know the community.”
Several works surround the art center, making it a good place to start. “Three Lines Diagonal,” in stainless steel by well-known artist George Rickey, graces the west wall of the Krasl building on Lake Boulevard, in a spot chosen by the artist. The kinetic sculpture moves in an ever-changing dance with nature.
One of Krasl’s more important pieces, “Beacon Gold Chandelier,” by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, consists of 200 blown-glass pieces and hangs at the entrance to the art center.
Other sculptures at the Krasl include Michael Dunbar’s “Allegheny Drift,” Fritz Olsen’s “Bouquet” and Burt Brent’s “The Heavyweight.”
Many sculptures are also located in downtown St. Joseph and along its bluff, well within walking distance of each other.
“Maids of the Mist” was created for the World’s Fair in Chicago and brought to downtown St. Joseph in 1892 by the then-owner of the Whitcomb Hotel. The tiered fountain features two seated women, Hope and Constance, and sits on the bluff in front of the Whitcomb.
Nearby, “Fireman’s Monument,” a bronze piece by W. L. Cottrel, honors firemen who died fighting a blaze that claimed the Yore Opera House in 1896, and just down the way, “Sand Castles: What Dreams Are Made Of” welcomes visitors to the Margaret B. Upton Memorial Arboretum.
On Berrien County’s Silver Beach, David Barr’s “Strata,” of painted steel and granite, sits in three parts looking over the water. Also overlooking the lake on Silver Beach is “Young Flight,” by Gail Mally-Mack; “Moon Dream” by Benik Motevosian; and the 50-foot stainless steel “And You, Seas,” by Chicago artist Richard Hunt.
People visiting Silver Beach can also enjoy “bonus” temporary installations that change over time — another good reason to go to the beach.
Through August 2013, Krasl’s Biennial Sculpture Invitational offers 26 additional works.
“We have biennial sculptures on view at the (Margaret B. Upton) Arboretum and in Lookout Park, on our grounds and in the arts district in Benton Harbor,” Miller said. “Six sculptures, specifically by artists that live within a 75-mile radius, are on view at the Box Factory for the Arts.”
A free SculpTour map is available from the Krasl Art Center, 707 Lake Blvd. in St. Joseph, or at the St. Joseph Welcome Center on State Street. Many of the works are also part of the Touch Tone Art & Culture program. Information about the works is available by dialing the sculpture’s number with a cell phone.