Each spring, those lucky enough to know about the University City Sculpture Series have a brief chance to comb the township's parks looking for art.
Through an arrangement with the Washington University School of Art, students design and build public sculpture, which is placed in U. City parks. Seeking out the parks and the sculpture can be as rewarding as exploring the woods of Laumeier Sculpture Park to discover cool art hidden along the paths.
Years past have given us a "mental agility" parcourse at Mooney Park, where visitors had to go from station to station, answering riddles, playing musical instruments and using a special eyepiece to reconfigure their view of the world. A weathered card catalog was placed under a shade tree at Heman Park, and the public spontaneously stuffed the empty drawers with twigs, dirt and debris -- an effective commentary on obsolescence, decay and regeneration. Also at Heman Park, an organic-looking cocoon of metal pipes enveloped a pay phone, injecting a dose of science fiction into the everyday.
This year's sculptures include the ruins of an imaginary civilization, "light boxes" that will project words onto a wall, a series of screens designed to cast peculiar shadows on a staircase, a community-made tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a performance piece that comments on the way clothing affects our image and an online work identified by a plaque on a monument.