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Carousel public art project dedication set for Nov. 9

Posted Nov. 6, 2019

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the art piece
The artwork is inspired in part by the artists' fascination with carousels.

Carousel, a sculpture in perforated and painted stainless steel and aluminum, was recently installed in the center of the roundabout at the intersection of East Rosedale Street and Mitchell Boulevard.

A dedication for the artwork is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 9 at the corner of Sycamore Park adjacent to the roundabout. Free parking is available in the parking lot near the ball fields at Sycamore Park.

Created by the husband and wife artist team of Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, Carousel stands a little more than 24 feet high and 14 feet in diameter. This stationary Carousel is activated by the experience of driving around it, seeking to turn the ordinary event of traveling the area into a distinctive experience.

The artwork is inspired in part by the artists’ fascination with carousels, which are a delight to children and a source of nostalgia for adults. Its theatrical quality references the Jubilee Theatre, which was originally established in this community, and the theatre department at Texas Wesleyan University. Its six large, colorful parrots are a reference to the mascot of nearby Polytechnic High School and the importance of striving for education at all levels.

An artist talk is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Nov. 9, immediately following the dedication, at Ella Mae Shamblee Library, 1062 Evans Ave.

Hirschfield and Ishii have worked as a team for nearly three decades, and together have created more than 40 public artworks.

Hirschfield teaches at the University of North Carolina and was chair of the Art Department from 2010-2017. He has received major awards from both public and private foundations, including awards from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. He has a long history in public art and currently serves on the Public Art Network Advisory Council.

Ishii began her professional career as an artist on an early design team project in Seattle, Wash. She has received a number of awards, including two North Carolina Artist Fellowships.

Together, Hirschfield and Ishii have created public art projects ranging from freestanding sculpture to sculptural environments. When beginning a project, the artists search for a theme: something about a place that inspires and directs their design. They describe this as finding an inherent truth that lends itself to becoming visual metaphor. Their projects succeed through strong aesthetic designs that engage the viewer in a process of discovery, providing a multifaceted and meaningful experience.

To learn more, contact Project Manager Anne Allen at 817-298-3028.

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