Dimension Sculpture Park
Springdale Road is increasingly strung with gems, and this is the newest one
Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., May 3, 2019
You think a thing is pretty cool, and then it goes and changes. And usually when that happens, you're at least disappointed or maybe you even start slogging your way through all those Kübler-Ross stages of grief or maybe you just get stuck on anger and feel like burning something down to the ground: a dollhouse, a city block, your mom's yappy and incontinent Chihuahua, whatever.
But, you know, change itself is neither good nor bad; change is change, that's all. But your personal perception is going to pass judgment on it – as it passes judgment on everything, to one extent or another, and allows you to survive.
So, remember Dimension Gallery's Paved Garden? In that place near where Springdale runs into Airport Boulevard? How co-founder and curator Colin McIntyre didn't have enough space in his excellent but tiny venue to display the more massive sculptural creations of his talented friends and associates and so he exhibited them on the concrete-coated grounds surrounding the building? And for three years, it was an exhibition right out in the open, filled with well-wrought wonders in a variety of materials, that a person could visit any old time they felt like? And how fucking cool that was?
Well, in case you missed the news: That's changed. Yeah, yeah, I know. But it happens to be reason for celebration.
The Paved Garden is no longer paved, and it's no longer just a garden. The incredible array of sculpture – and several new works, no less impressive than their predecessors – has moved across the street from Dimension Gallery on Springdale. Across the street and into an expansive park, totally unpaved, that's lush with grass and bordered by trees and their lovely shade and is the sort of place you could happily stroll through or sit upon the groundcover of, even if it was unembellished by human art. But now it is embellished – and only sparsely, only considerately, only enough to keep the mind sparking from piece to piece without any sense of clutter intruding on the, uh, the verdant 'scape. Oh! The verdant 'scape, dude! Beautifully studded with odd and majestic works by Colby Brinkman and Magdalena Jarkowiec and Haley Woodward and Cat Quintanilla and more! With a set of metal obelisks by McIntyre himself anchoring one corner of the park, it's a newly revitalized area that's open to all at any time, and its grand opening this past Saturday was packed with happy citizens.
And of course – because what artists aren't too often struggling for money? – this project is city-supported, at least in part. And we can all agree that the city of Austin does some stupid things with its money – although which things are stupid and which things are smart depends on whom you ask – but only a thoroughly benighted fool, your reporter humbly suggests, would call this new public space anything other than a genius move.
Things have changed in Austin yet again: The Paved Garden is gone, transplanted and transmogrified. But – all hail! All hail the new Dimension Sculpture Park!
Dimension Sculpture Park950 Springdale, www.dimensiongallery.org