Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WAS Creates Art for the Park

The City of Wellington is rebuilding their children's park, Tiger Shark Cove, and asked the Wellington Art Society to create the art pieces. They're keeping the Tiger Shark/Undersea Castle theme, and rebuilding much of the wooden pieces. The decorative parts were designed by our Wellington Art Society members, and painted by them and other community volunteers. The park designers and construction team are Leathers Associates, from Ithaca, New York. We had a great experience working with them, and are excited to learn that they'll soon be opening an office up the road in Jupiter, Florida.

Our involvement started with the creation of templates for the colored cutouts. Six of us met on a Saturday morning and, drawing free-hand, created about 20 sea life characters, including a whale, fish, manatee, seahorse, and starfish. I taped them to the wall so I could take a good photo and send it up to New York.

Amazing what you can do with dollar store posterboard! As usual, our projects provide opportunities for all skill levels; some of us designed the figures, others cut them out. Our next step was to hit the local Home Depot and choose paint colors. We went with about a dozen tropical colors. The City of Wellington was pleased to discover that Home Depot donated all the paint, brushes, and other art supplies.

The demolition of Tiger Shark Cove occurred about a month before the rebuild. We rebuilt the park over a busy five-day period, using City of Wellington employees, Leathers & Associates staff, community volunteers, and Wellington Art Society members. We split the days into 3-4 hour shifts, and most art volunteers signed up for 1 or 2 shifts. Well, once they got out there and started painting the cutouts, they had so much fun, they came back many times! Most of our volunteers were there multiple days, and some were there every day. I think working on the art pieces, you became an "owner" of the park. You wanted to see it through fruition. After the pieces were painted, we also helped attach them to the sides of the park pieces. It will be fun to stop by the park later and show your family the fish, seahorse, or octopus that you personally painted.

Here's Suzanne Redmond tracing the cutouts on the board with a community volunteer. The Wellington employees then used a jigsaw to cut out the pieces, and a router to smooth the edges.

Here's what a lot of the cutouts look like once they're painted. You can see other pieces on the back table that we stained. They would cut the recycled lumber pieces to shapes and we'd apply stain to them.

Here's Jean Talbott with a couple pieces she created. Jean was there every day. She specialized in lettering the sign for the Conch Train and then later created the letters for the opening sign to Tiger Shark Cove. I'll post photos for those on another date, because they weren't installed by the time the artists left.

Jean also painted the bone fish, which decorated the "bait shack." 

Some of the lumber pieces we primed and then painted. The construction crew then cut out the shape that we drew for them. Here's the shark that is an opening to a cave where the kids can play. Eventually the whole park will have a soft plastic textured ground, instead of sand or mulch.

Kathy Morlock painted some really cute dolphins, and they eventually surrounded one of the slides.

They've created a new rope area, kind of like spiderwebs, where the kids can climb. The octopus cutouts are near that area.

Arlene Brand painted the creepy skull and crossbones on the ship. When you stand on the ship, it actually moves.

Here's Marie Lentine with one of her creations. She actually painted many -- just put one in front of her, and she'd paint it.

Linda Rovolis painted quite a few pieces and helped Ilene Adams with the character wall.

Suzanne and Kyle Cundy from Leathers & Associates, goofed off a bit before the characters were installed.

Ilene also designed and painted the mural which will become a rock climbing wall. She even enlisted the help of her husband, Norm.

It was also a family affair, and Suzanne's son Michael helped install the pieces.

Tony and Deborah Baker created the way cool surfboard. When this is installed it will hang and rock with your movement. They worked well into the night to get this just right.

Leslie Pfeiffer was a jack of all trades, and worked on many projects. Here's a great shot of a few of the team working in the art area.

Here are a few more pieces, after they were attached to the playground.

The cones were first assembled, then stained while they were on the ground. A huge crane came in and dropped them onto the tops of the structures.

We'll let you know when they hold the grand opening event. This was a fun, rewarding experience. It was great working with Leathers & Associates and the City of Wellington employees. Thank you to all the Wellington Art Society members who volunteered. In addition to the members pictured above, these members also helped: Bobbin Salisbury, who created a lot of the paper cutouts; and Jo-Ann Wolfe, Corinne Ingerman, Sue Hampton, and Adrianne Hetherington who were out there painting during the re-build (I just missed snapping their pictures).

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