Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Revisiting Bilberry Park Installation

Fifteen years after the creation by children of the Queensborough area, of this mural and the Pyramid Group's 7 sculpture installation, I returned to Bilberry Park to see what had become of these public art ventures in which I'd taken part. So many wonderful memories flooded my thoughts as I passed Job Corps where we'd built the sculptures, and then I entered the park. There's good looking play equipment now instead of the rusty stuff of 1995-6, a covered games area, and a new rec building. And the mural, in amazingly good condition, happily was placed on the new hut in the same location it had on the old one, and is the entry to the park with the installation area directly ahead.
The very low enclosing concrete walls have been well painted with bright colors and look good. I do wish SPAR would plant perennials into those enclosed spaces rather than leaving them to the weeds and litter. Four of the original sculptures celebrating the lives of Doug Williams, Johnny Bilberry, area artists and Afro-Americans, are still in place. Actually pieces of these 4: the upper parts are gone, the paint is worn off, faded, but some panels especially the dedication panels, black and white decorative ones are in good condition. but the remnants of these once large, proud, brilliantly colored creative pieces now are on their last legs.
I wish those pieces still in good shape could be salvaged and placed, like the mural, on the hut walls or elsewhere, and that there'd be a new call to artists for this area. Lucille Reed, Nevelyn Brown and I enjoyed and thrived amidst the Queensborough neighbors and I would hope another artist, artists, would/could continue to be present there.
I did shoot a less than satisfactory video of the installation: its on YouTube...type Artsmaven75 in the search box and then click Bilberry.