Art blossoms …in restored BG prairie site


Sculptures from Bowling Green State University are taking their place amidst the wild blue and yellow
blossoms of Simpson Garden.
The show of five pieces is the second time sculpture has taken its place among the native foliage in the
prairie restoration area of Simpson Garden Park.
This is the second year for the show, said Chris Gajewicz, natural resources coordinator for the city’s
Parks and Recreation Department. Plans for the garden always envisioned art in the garden. The show
continues through September.
The works on display include sculptures by Bowling Green State University faculty members Shawn Morin and
John Balistreri and student Kevin Vanek as well as a sculpture by Gajewicz, "True Colors,"
made of cockscrew willow salvaged during city brush pickup.
Those dangling twisted branches contrast with harder substances of the other four monumental sculptures.
Balistreri’s "Marker" is painted stoneware. It’s rounded arms point in all directions. Morin’s
granite "After Zarephaal" also looks like a marker, this one from some ancient civilization.
His "King for a Day" of marble and granite on a metal pedestal evokes a modern phenomenon, the
old "Queen for a Day" television show, while still having a sense of ancient ruins.
Vanek’s "Reflections of Reality" plays of the smoothness of its alabaster top against the more
rough-hewn texture of its granite base.
Morin said the original concept was for an all-student show, but the timing was off. The show opens after
most students have left town, and few of them have works large enough to make their presence felt in the
The park, he said, is "a great setting."
"It’s a beautiful park," Morin, a city resident, said. "It’s really come a long way.
Parks "are always great venues for sculpture," he said. He’d like the show to continue and
would like to see more permanent pieces to go along with the one now in the prairie restoration area.

The show provides a good showcase for local talent, Morin said.
Gajewicz said it also a way "to encourage students to come to this side of town."
Gajewicz said he can envision the work spreading out into other areas of the park. "This is just a
beginning," he said.

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