Roeland Park Skate Park Sculpture Installation
Hugh Merrill was commissioned to produce sculptures for the new skate park in Roeland Park Kansas. The park opened and the sculptures were unveiled October 10, 2004. Merrill produced three bronze sculptures from castings of skateboards and computer keyboards. Merrill said “ In designing the bronzes I was trying to speak about creativity as a force in the lives of contemporary young people. I wanted to unite the physical and cerebral elements of creativity into a single work.
The skateboards symbolize physical creative and the keyboards the cerebral element. Together they unite the mind body duality. They reference two processes of surfing and I wanted them to be fun something the young people who use the park could relate to as art.”
Bronze was important because it is a public and traditional art material. Bronze is the metal of memorials and statues of famous and forgotten guys. I wanted the notion of skateboarding and web surfacing to be “memorialized” as bronze sculptures.
Merrill also produced 10 brass text plaques using literary quotes and poetry forms that will be installed in the park at a later date. Merrill described the plaques as a metaphysical element to facilitate conversations, and discussion by the people who use the park.