May 31, 2008

Sphere Madness makes its public debut

Out of the Park, by Daun Johnson, Kim Nelson
and Crystal Johnson

It's not often you go to a party at Wingspread with Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean ... and they're not the guests of honor. Andy Griffith was in attendance too (well, his Mayberry Sheriff's car was there, although I never ran into him), but he wasn't the guest of honor either.

Rather, the stars of the party Saturday night were the 75 objects that make up Sphere Madness, the Downtown Racine Corporation's summer sidewalk art project, which will add to the ambiance of Main and Sixth Street starting on Monday when they go on display downtown.

Saturday night was their official unveiling -- at a '50s sock hop and outdoor garden party called Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Art! Spread out around the lawn, the 75 spheres made an impressive debut. There were dragons, a great turtle, the expanding universe, a ball of yarn, a king's chess table, a 200-mph snail. There was an owl, penguins, fish, downtown attractions, a dodo driving a bulldozer. There were flowers, a princess, the Little Prince, a baseball-playing cow.

The variety was amazing. Under one of the tents was a mouth-watering dessert table with all the fixin's of the best ice cream sundae ever ... topped by a huge scoop of ice cream. Yup, it was one of the spheres, although it was so realistic one almost had to touch it to prove it wasn't really ice cream.

Artists mingled with sponsors, explaining the fine points of their creation. The most-asked question I overheard was, "How can you bear to part with it?" How indeed? At the end of summer, the spheres will be auctioned off -- and no doubt some of the artists will bid to retrieve their creations.

Wandering Eye by Rick Beyer and Fred DacQuisto

One Scoop or Two? by Laura Covelli and Eric Dahlke

Raylene by Raymond School of Art Club
and Wendy Grueneberg

Crystal Dragon by Joyce Medina

All A-Round Racine by Alyson Eisch
and Julian Thomas Elementary Students

Motion Pictures - A Universal Appeal by Craig Welch

Artist Robert Andersen, left, explains his Toulous-Laugoose Egg

Starry Night with its creator, Sherri Shaver

Dododozer by Bill Reid

Elvis (a k a John Van Thiel) entertains a fan

Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, together at last
(Amy Peckman and Danny Neumann)


  1. I like Wandering Eye also orbs. God I feel liberated leaving that sucky Journal Times website! God Bless America!!!!

  2. The wondering eye is awesome. Their must have been alot of work into it!

  3. I love the wondering eye.It is different but also very cool.
    I hope it wins!!!