by Jason Nevel, State Journal-Register, Nov 13, 2012
Design plans for a sculpture park in Enos Park, featuring a half-dozen abstract and contemporary pieces, were unveiled Tuesday night. The sculpture park, which would occupy two adjoining vacant lots, would be at Eighth Street and Enos Avenue.
The project is a collaboration between local sculptor Michael Dunbar and the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association. Dunbar, who recently purchased an Enos Park building he plans to convert into a workshop, said the plan is to take the project step by step, relying on help from volunteers and donations. Each piece would be created by a sculptor from Illinois and be leased for a two-year period. The sculptures would sit on platforms throughout the two lots, which still need to be cleaned up, he said.
No timetable has been set for when the park could be completed, but Dunbar said an artist has been lined up for the first piece. Once people see that, it should make it easier to raise money for additional pieces, he said. “We’re just going to pull from the resources in the neighborhood,” Dunbar said. “Somebody has a lot, somebody has a road grader and someone has a dump truck. It’s like a little case of stone soup.”
The sculpture park is part of an ongoing effort to clean up Enos Park. Steve Combs, president of the neighborhood association, said the community is overrun with rental properties. A sculpture park might attract people to buy houses in the historic neighborhood on Springfield’s near north side, he said. “We have a two-prong attack to improve the neighborhood,” Combs said. “One is to increase its feel and look for people to come into it. At the same time, we’re looking to get rid of the bad houses and bad people.”
People interested in donating can contact Enos Park leaders at email@example.com.