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.