Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday in the Park with Wes

FREE TOUR Sunday 2:00 - June 7, 2015 at Laumeier Sculpture Park 

The tour is scheduled to begin at 2:00 sharp. I am typically early and was on this day. However, I did not fully manage my time well as I was anxious to see Heritage Schooler re-installed, the Donald Judd and the seasonal return of the Tree Tent. It’s 2:02 and I was engaged in a conversation with a local couple at Marie Watt’s Earthmover. In the midst of explaining the connection to the Mound City exhibit we are joined by a woman who came for the tour. She found me but a couple and another lady bailed at 2:02 – that tells me something about the expectation of the FREE tour. Maybe they think “you get what you pay for…” or maybe they just don’t feel like waiting in the hot sun on a day when the weather is 93 degrees.  I feel like that timing mishap is unfortunate.

Part of my delay however is due to engagements around the park between 1:00 and 2:02. A lovely young couple with a sweet little girl wearing a St. Louis Zoo floppy hat on dad’s shoulders. “You are so cute. Can I take your picture?” Dad says “I prefer not.” Okay, no worries. It turns out this new family is new to St. Louis and have already found the Zoo and the Sculpture Park. “Thanks for coming. We’re glad you are here. We hope you will come back again and again.”

The woman who came for a tour certainly got one. Compelled to show her something she would not have seen on a self-guided tour – I took her on the trail to see the Triangular Bridge, Reading Room, Pool Complex and Cromlech Glen. She is definitely bringing her granddaughter with her next time. She loved Linked Forms (especially since I paused with her at Tower Hybrid earlier).

A guy with an iPhone camera is near the children’s garden and asks me for a little more information on the layout. He is originally from Texas and currently living in North Carolina but is likely to be in town on business for more than a week. “I have a couple of little girls who love art. I like to take pictures to give them ideas,” he says. He loved the piece he called the “inchworm” (Lipski’s Ball? Ball! Wall? Wall!).   

Finally I returned to the shady area where another couple found a place to sit adjacent to DeSuvero’s Bornibus. They lived in St. Louis 20 years ago and admit to being on a “junk food” tour. (Imo’s Pizza, Ted Drewes, Toasted Ravioli etc). They are interested in the tour but look so comfortable that I offer them an overview that will not require them to move an inch. They are grateful. From that spot I was able to talk about the estate house, the new Fine Arts building, Bornibus, the EYE, the Tree Tent, Dark Garden, Intricate Wall. “Does the park still host concerts?” Well I have to be truthful “Well yes and no. Generally the music is here in conjunction with Art Fair, Food Truck events and other times when the music is FREE while you spend money on food.” This couple is currently living in the Boston area.

A lovely day with plenty of activity. The FREE tour needs a bit more anticipation so a group can gather. I love the one-on-one time, couples and small groups. Two hours is never enough time for me to tell people what to see. I always encourage them to return. I hope they do.