The Austin Chronicle

The Dimension Sculpture Park Is Newly Illuminated

... and the darkness cannot overcome it

By Wayne Alan Brenner, December 18, 2020, Arts

Here in the final days of 2020, as a global pandemic's got us either sheltering at home or venturing into some socially distanced landscape beyond our four walls, how fortunate this city is to have so many parks for wandering – and some of those places delightfully embellished with human makery: sculpture, as they call it, right?

We're fans of wandering through the artfully enhanced wilderness (somewhat manicured wilderness, to be sure) of Laguna Gloria and the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, both longtime respites from the rectilinear constraints of industrial cement and steel. But, as regular gadabouts on Austin's sunrise side, we're especially enamored with our city's newer addition to the intersection of nature and craft: Dimension Gallery Sculpture Park at 950 Springdale.

The Dimension park, which opened in the spring of 2019, long before these damned 'ronas came to wreak havoc on our lives and bulge the coffers of internet moguls, is an extension of Colin and Moya McIntyre's Dimen­sion Gallery across the street. As we reported at the time, the gallery's parking lot display of outsized sculpture (in a diversity of media, from a diversity of artists) had outgrown its space and was moved to the wooded lot across the street. Well, not just moved, but curated and arranged with much consideration upon the lawn, among the trees, throughout that verdant site. "Beautifully studded with odd and majestic works by Colby Brinkman and Magdalena Jarkowiec and Haley Wood­ward and Cat Quintanilla and more," we said, "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 the city of Austin, to its credit, helped – and helps – to support this neighborhood gem that's enjoyed by citizens of all ages, from all over.

But we're not only reminding you of its existence here. We're telling you that the park's been recently improved with lights, a new system of illumination to cut through shadows as the sun sinks somewhere to the west, making this Eastside park ideal for an outdoorsy sort of date night along the ever-more-lively stretch of Springdale Road. "We gave the park a general refresh, too," Colin McIntyre tells us, "servicing several items, reworking plaques that had been compromised, and adding some instructive signage. I'd say we're paving the way for adding a few new works but am not positive that will happen before year's end." But the park's now home to McIntyre's Resonant Lung project, as well. "With the new lighting, we also have power for the Lung – whenever it becomes hygienically possible to have 14-person micro-concerts inside a shipping container again." The sculptor laughs, eyeing the sonically radiant structure he's spent so much time and effort on. "I'm also trying to get a piece from my original mentor, Dr. Joe Smith over in Caldwell, Texas. He died the year we founded the gallery, and I've always wanted to borrow some of his work to share with Austin."

Definitely something to anticipate, then, as we look forward to a new year dawning, to future Resonant Lung performances, to a vaccine against COVID-19, to relative economic stability and a potentially more reasonable national governance. Right now, though? In the midst of all these *fnord* protocols and Zooming screens? A visit to the artful greenspace of Dimension Gallery Sculpture Park might be just the balm we need.

Dimension Gallery Sculpture Park

950 Springdale

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