The Highland Park Sculpture River Walk is now open along the Raritan River surrounding the Eugene Young Environmental Education Center, 20 River Road, Highland Park. Walk, bike or skip down to River Road to explore these sculptures designed, created and installed by Mason Gross School of the Arts students.
HIGHLAND PARK SCULPTURE RIVER WALK FEATURED ON RUTGERS TODAY:
ABOUT THE SCULPTURES:
Skrrt, Skirt by Jett Strauss and Joshua Araujo
A vibrant 30-pound fishing lure, Skrrt, Skirt, references one former activity on the Raritan River. The work is made from foam and coated in an epoxy resin with bright neon colors and a nylon hair skirt. The piece is meant to “lure” people to visit Highland Park and to notice and experience the Sculpture River Walk this summer.
In Service by Bryan Volta
Located at the Environmental Center in a space that was once abused by toxic waste disposal and reclaimed as a public park, In Service, a wood box with cast concrete banana reliefs, serves as a marker of progress and harbinger of potential. The artist chose bananas to symbolize healing and repairing when he discovered that the large amount of pectin in bananas slowly removes unhealthy metals and toxins from the body.
Rotating Theater by Sam Ashford
Rotating Theater, as the title describes, is a small public theater that spins and accommodates small events and performances that take “turns” occupying the space. At the April 30th opening, Ashford had several dance majors at Mason Gross School of the Arts perform on both the stage and audience platforms to show one possible way of activating the space.
Fall by Julia Hickey
The elegant arabesques of a pink parachute mimic the hanging branches of the tree, calling attention to the tree’s beauty while proposing an unsettling event or Fall. The artist consulted the HP Environmental Commission to make sure the material was specially treated so that it posed no risk to any birds.
Allowed Speaker by Renana Neuman and Yu Rim Chung
Allowed Speaker, a blue-painted steel sculpture resembling both an animal and a sawhorse barricade, aims to address issues of surveillance, visibility and the ability to be heard. In light of increasing political turmoil, often stemming from issues of inclusion/exclusion and questions of agency, the artists have engaged a public space as a means of cultivating dialogue and promoting interactions between viewers.
Reflective Span (Inverted Arch) by Stephen Williams and Jack Warner
Reflective span (Inverted Arch) is a large, cast concrete arch situated in optical alignment with the Northeast Corridor trestle bridge that has remarkably served this region for over a century.
The visual interaction between the sculpture and the bridge allows pedestrians to look again, seeing afresh the 115-year-old engineering. In making this piece, Warner and Williams hope to invigorate the public’s interest in the ideas of connection, hopefulness -through a sense of lasting history-, re-examination -of the public space, and progress –as the bridge continues to serve its physical and visual function.
Happy Hour by Ryan Chin and Shark Senesac
Five concrete sandwich board constructions dot the large grass expanse of Johnson Park, allowing for a space of contemplation for pedestrians as they attempt to decipher the meaning of the imagery in the concrete relief.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
Flyer from the April 30 opening of the Highland Park Sculpture River Walk: