When we think of great public art, some of us might imagine Cloud Gate (Anish Kapoor) in Chicago’s Millennium Park or Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo. Here in Dallas, maybe Eye (Tony Tasset) facing the Joule Hotel or the Traveling Man (Brad Oldham) commissioned by DART come to mind. Art, of course, is subjective – but there’s a strong case for public art that is context-sensitive as well as educational. We don’t know why there’s a giant eyeball on Main Street, but Traveling Man does have something to do with Deep Ellum’s jazz and blues history.
With Kiest Park getting ready to welcome its Vaughan Brothers commission by Casto Solano, we’re reminded that Elmwood Park lacks its own public art. However, we do have an opportunity to request and receive a donated piece of artwork that tells the story of our neighborhood. It doesn’t need to be commissioned because many like it already exist.
If you read our history page, you’ll learn that Elmwood began as the Tennessee Dairy Farm founded by Lindsley Waters. We don’t know very much about Mr. Waters, but it’s not hard to imagine that he had an affinity for the cows that grazed on his land and helped him earn “most sanitary dairy farm in Texas” at the 1908 State Fair. We imagine there were no butter sculptures back then or he would’ve earned an award for that as well!
Since the “cow parade” exhibits of the late 1990s there have been thousands of cow sculptures displayed in cities all over the world (even flying horses in Dallas’ case), usually painted by local artists and auctioned for charity. Today, we can see similar artwork in Trammel Crow Park and in the Harwood District northwest of downtown.
What if we requested that one of these sculptures be donated for permanent display in our park so that future generations can learn about our own history? Messages have been left with Scott Griggs and Harwood International, and we'll be updating this post periodically. Stay tuned!