Saturday, May 23, 2009

Dougherty Blooms



As an antidote to the grey, foggy, and cold Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco where we probably won't see the sun for 72 hours, here are a few photos of the Patrick Dougherty sculptures in Civic Center on a sunny Thursday afternoon.



They are getting more enveloped with green every day, so of course they are being protested by San Francisco's metastatic Department of the Environment, via a professional consulting arborist with the Urban Forestry Council named Roy C. Leggitt III. (Click here for an article by Joshua Sabatini at the SF Examiner about the kerfluffle.)



Fortunately, Jill Manton at the San Francisco Art Commission wasn't buying it, and the artist chimed in with "haven't lost a tree yet" in the course of scores of outdoor sculptures he's created that involve living trees. Plus, if Mr. Leggitt had watched the sculptures go up in the middle of a two-week series of raging storms in February, he'd know that they were not risking the health of the sycamores in a high wind.



The loveliest part of living next to the tree houses is that they change their colors in every kind of light, and they are also being weathered by time and the elements. The new greenery feels like additional visual luxury.

5 comments:

Black Rock Arts Foundation said...

Tweeted your post today. Thanks for keeping us up to date and bringing a smile to my face on a tough day

janinsanfran said...

This is indeed a classic San Francisco Memorial Day weekend -- freezing!

The kerfluffle about the sculptures and trees is fascinating. My church has some of these sycamores. We received and obeyed an order to prune them to city specifications a while back. They seem okay, maybe even healthier, but I was amazed to learn how much bureaucracy there was related to trees.

Axel Feldheim said...

I've walked by the plaza a couple of times this week & also noticed how the trees are leafing under the sculptures. It's very cheerful! I wish there were more of these giant nests.

AphotoAday said...

Thanks for your continuing coverage of Dougherty's installation, but I still think the SF Arts Commission has "fallen for a bill-of-goods" with this one... Not to insult fourth-graders again, but it looks like a fourth-grade craft project...

So, the article mentions that 18,000 pounds of willow saplings went into the project... Yeah, that's right -- rip them from the soil, send them up to S.F., and weave them all tightly into the already tortured sycamores... Makes perfect sense to me...

Actually what would really make sense would to use those sycamores as supports for tents for the homeless -- I think we could make a proud little community down there... It's their city too, and right now I think they need shelter a lot more than they need Dougherty's "art"...

Sorry for the rant, but somebody had to say it...

sfmike said...

Not convinced, Donald? Actually, the street people in the plaza have already been using the shade of the sculptures as shelter for sleeping. Unfortunately, the pavement's pretty hard around that section of the plaza and I doubt if our Care Not Cash mayor cares to see them out of his window on the few occasions he visits his office in City Hall these days.