Broadway Art

Broadway art 04-21-2014I didn’t make it to the fancy opening of the 2014 Cape Girardeau Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit on April 6, but I did notice some strange figures lurking along Broadway on a recent drive. Monday night had a light rain falling, so I decided to cruise down Broadway to see if the nice glistening streets would give a different look to the seven sculptures placed along the street.

This one was located on the north side of Broadway, in front of KZIM radio and across the street from The Missourian. It took quite awhile for the right car to come down the street to make the work shine. I parked my car in the driveway of the old Federal Building so my headlights brighten up the front of the radio studio. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Between Sprigg and Frederick

Broadway art 04-21-2014I didn’t take notes, but this feels like the south side of the street between Frederick and Sprigg looking west.

Between Fountain and Middle

Broadway art 04-21-2014This piece is in front of the Sun & Tan Tanning Salon between Middle and Fountain. I parked my van in what would have been the old Rialto Theater alley and let my headlights illuminate this one.

In front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques

Broadway art 04-21-2014This spooky guy is in front of Annie Laurie’s Antiques and across from Shivelbine’s Music just east of Frederick.

Missed three of the seven

Cruising in the dark and rain, I missed seeing three of the seven. The Missourian listed the following locations for them:

  • The north side of Broadway between Fountain and Lorimier streets
  • The south side of Broadway between Lorimier and Spanish streets
  • The north side of Broadway at the Pacific Street intersection
  • The south side of Broadway between Sprigg and Frederick streets
  • The south side of Broadway between Middle and Fountain streets
  • The north side of Broadway at the Frederick Street intersection
  • The south side of Broadway at the Vasterling Suites courtyard

Is it art?

The Missourian’s comment section was full of people grousing about the sculptures. Some questioned if they were art or junk.

I’ll leave that for the experts. I remember one of my photo profs at Ohio University looking at some pictures a student turned in. “These have to be art,” he said, “’cause if they ain’t art, then they’re pornography, and pornography is against the law.”


11 Replies to “Broadway Art”

  1. I haven’t seen them in person and obviously haven’t seen them all, but I like the idea. I may not want them for my ‘collection’ (not that I have one), but I feel they are additive to the ‘Broadway Experience’ – at least on a temporary basis. If the town is really trying to turn Broadway back into an attractive street, they have to try different things. I remember when I lived in Chicago and they had the cow decorating contest and even though you got some very strange entries, it was hugely successful and started a nationwide trend in other cities.

    1. I’ve seen cows and pigs in other cities; in West Palm Beach, we had alligators. Things that people can identify, particularly if they are whimsical, are easier for folks to accept, I expect.

  2. Patrick Sommers, Esq.

    We are most pleased that you approve of our earnest attempt to add some culture to our little backwater conservative mecha. Especially since you are a Cape native that has gone on to be a world traveling business venturist, an opulent and renown jetsetter, and well known connoisseur of the finer things in life.
    (ie: Cuban Cigars, finely aged single malt scotch, and an honors graduate of the great Butch Harmon Golf School – just to name a few)

    Live Long & Prosper ol’ Great One.

    A humble Admirer.

  3. Yes, art is good…Thanks to Brad, Ken and Pat Summers a little art and culture comes into our blighted lives. I will have to visit this on my next trip up to Cape in May.
    Another humble admirer of the arts and people who point it out to the great unwashed.
    Terry Hopkins 66′

  4. What floors me is that if I had created any of the pieces, I probably wouldn’t be able to find a buyer; who would buy that junk anyway? But certain people declare would-be junk, art, and someone makes money and giggles all the way to the bank. In Kansas City, some famous junk dealer (artist) created giant stainless curlers and joined other pieces of stainless metal, colanders and such, together and sold the lot to the effete snobs in our city government for millions, ultimately to be mounted atop Bartle Hall and heralded as beautiful.

    I’m sorry but very little of what has been created other than that created by the masters in past centuries can be sold to me as art. Art should be immediately pleasing to the eye, such as your photos are, Ken.

    1. I avoid the A-word when referring to my pix. I had to listen to too much of that stuff when I was in school. If I shot something that strikes you, then I’ve accomplished my goal. Some folks put their “art” in fancy frames; mine ended up wrapping fish and housebreaking puppies.

  5. We’re going to Cape today, and I must go down Broadway to see these sculptures, despite some of your readers’ less than complimentary remarks.
    As the cultural center of Southeast Missouri, it’s only fitting that Cape should include such improvements to the beloved old Broadway Street.
    As a former Cape resident and a current resident of one of the blighted SE Missouri cities that do NOT have art on their streets, I applaud the efforts to restore the city to its former glory.
    Several years ago, when my daughter lived in Norfolk, VA, I had her drive me all over the city, taking photos of the mermaid sculptures. Beautiful!! One was even coated with pennies!
    In Memphis, they have huge tiger statues in unexpected places.
    Keep it up, Cape!
    Mark Steinhoff–I love that quote!!!

  6. As an old semo art major and general lover of ancient art and architecture, and traditional realistic art – – – – I don’t normally care for post modern abstract art. Even most the older and modern abstract is lost on me. I didn’t know how the broadway statues would affect me.

    I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at the general feeling and mood they project. As Pat Sommers, Esq. implied… I wouldn’t want them in my personal collection (if I had one), but I’m enjoying the interest they are creating, and the viewing them as I cruise the ‘main drag’ as we used to call it.

    I doubt if I would be as accommodating if I feared these particular works would become “permanent” fixtures.

    That one that looks like giant squid tentacles especially bothers me…. but perhaps that is the artist’s purpose.

  7. Ken, thanks so much for the photos!! I was hoping you would be photographing & posting photos of these works.

    I too read a few of the comments you mentioned by the local trolls. To this outsider, they seem to always be a group of bah humbug grumpy old men never satisfied with anything and always complaining. I suspect that is the nature of the forum they use. I have always thought it would be an interesting anthropological study to investigate who these folks really are and why they feel the need to be habitual anonymous naysayers. They do present a certain stereotype of Cape to the world that is not flattering.

    Anyway, back to the sculpture. Fantastic for Cape!! Great idea!! Well done!! Hope the larger community knows this is a definite plus for the area.

    I look forward to personally viewing all sculptures and hopefully seeing more of your fabulous photography. Your portrayal of Cape is always enjoyed and seems to come from a position of honesty and appreciation.

    Keith R: The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls—Pablo Picasso (who I am sure you appreciate not one whit)

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