Art in Public Places
Driving tour helps demystify Dublin’s unique sculptures
The first time I stepped inside Watch House in Dublin’s Coffman Park, I ran out terrified.
It was evening, and I could have sworn I just saw a dead cat hanging from inside the structure’s copper-domed roof. I later reasoned that the black blob I saw on the ceiling was probably a colony of bats, finding the small house set atop a circular earth mound the perfect home. Whatever it was, I didn’t quite understand this thing called public art.
Recently, while taking the Dublin Arts Council’s Art in Public Places tour, I finally understood.
- Driving tour helps demystify Dublin's unique sculptures
The self-guided driving tour consists of nearly two dozen installations commissioned by the city of Dublin and the Dublin Arts Council. A pamphlet containing a map and descriptions of each sculpture on the tour is available at the Dublin Arts Center, 7125 Riverside Dr. – or click here for an online map and details about a cell-phone tour.
As part of the tour I re-entered Watch House at 5600 Post Rd. To my surprise, I discovered that there really is a cat mounted on the planetarium-like ceiling. There’s also a curled-up dog. Both figures are cast in bronze and located alongside dozens of other familiar shapes, such as eating utensils and pieces of fruit all cut out of the roof.
The tour helped me see Dublin’s public artwork as less spooky and more unique. The city’s arts council developed its Art in Public Places program in 1988 to enhance the quality of life for Dublin residents as well as to establish a public art tour throughout the city. The tour reinforces the importance that art plays in the community and also demystifies some of Dublin’s more unusual public art installations such as Watch House.
Other installations include Field of Corn, 109 human-sized ears of concrete corn at the corner of Frantz and Rings roads; Leatherlips, a 12-foot-high limestone portrait of an Ohio Indian chief in Scioto Park; and Going, Going…Gone! a bronze sculpture that marks the passage of time through the imagery of baseball at Darree Fields.
Learn more at www.dublinarts.org.