Eiler's Park Public Art Sculpture

My husband, Sun McColgin, and I are in the process of creating a public art sculpture to mark the entrance of soon to be renovated Eiler's Park, a sweet little pocket park next to Deep Eddy Pool, Austin, Texas.

This renovation has been long desired by community members who remember Eiler's Park's rich history as a riotous, beautiful place, once part of a larger recreational area which included Deep Eddy Pool. The Pool and the Park date back to the turn of the century, when Mr Eilers purchased the property, and turned a fun, but dangerous current (the original "Eddy") into the city's first concrete pool, eventually adding zip lines that careened playful folks into the river, a fifty foot diving board, and giant slides. Travelers camped at the recreational area while visiting Austin, and many locals made the long trek to the pool (then considered in the "country") on hot days. During the roaring twenties, Eilers transferred management of Deep Eddy Recreational area to a former circus producer, and the park's atmosphere became even wilder. Stories abound about a famous diving horse who would leap from the diving platform. Apparently people could find their whiskey, swim and have a wonderful time at this park. A torrential flood in the 1930s destroyed most of the park and filled the pool with debris, but eventually the pool and park reopened, though with a more subdued character.

Though no one is alive today who remembers the wild twenties at Deep Eddy Pool, many do remember another giant slide at the playground at Eiler's Park, one which would even set an adult's heart leaping. Over the years, this and other amenities disappeared, and the eventual separation of Pool and Park carved up the once expansive recreational area into small, cloistered tiers that unfortunately rendered the park both less useable and less visible. Today everyone knows about Deep Eddy Pool, but few even are aware of the Park's existence. Neighbors, local business owners, community members, Austin Parks and Recreation, and Art In Public Places have now joined forces to renovate the park and bring back some of that former magic. Sun and I are fortunate to have this opportunity to make art for this project!

Most of the visual components of our design are featured under the "Abundance" section of this website, but here are most of our design materials, recently approved, for you to peruse.

We will be fabricating "Abundance" this year!

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ADS MOSAICS

Finally! An updated website, blog included, so I can share newer work, and offer a more in depth look at some of my recent projects.

Sample assortment of hand made tiles

AUSTIN DISCOVERY SCHOOL MOSAICS

As chronicled in the "Community Building Through Art" section of this website, one of my recent projects has been creating mosaics with the entire student body and general community of Austin Discovery School to adorn the buildings on their new campus.

I thank the ADS art teachers Juliet and Hannah, for accommodating and spearheading the first component of this project: making ceramic tiles. Every ADS student made at least one tile, sometimes a leaf or bird or insect that would easily integrate into a tree mosaic, but often a random, whimsical expression of themselves.... I fired everything from slices of pizza to eyeballs to "Find me on Pinterest" tiles.

Many hands make little work (we'll, not really, it's still a lot of work!)

I thank fellow artists Aly Winningham and Courtney Arte for helping direct many many community volunteer sessions, where kids and adults alike came and assembled the plant mosaics, collage style, with this random assortment of tiles. Sometimes it seemed like an impossible organizational feat to make sense of the chaotic display of expressions, but in the end I think we created a riotous celebration of diversity and independence.

So far four of the eight mosaics have been installed. At the end of this month the art teachers at ADS are hosting a "mosaic blitz" during which the entire student body will work on and hopefully finish the remaining four mosaics over three days. Stay tuned for the video!

Grouting the Prickly Pear