Visual Art

Madness in Cal Anderson Park

MadArt brings together top Northwest artists for new outdoor sculpture exhibition.

By Douglas Bair August 11, 2010


People have started to notice the mess the Rock brothers have made in Cal Anderson Park—it doesn’t help that the three grown men aren’t regulars on the playground.

But that mess has purpose. By the time they finish, it’ll be what Stephen Rock (currently showing with partner Nicole Dement at SAM) calls Brush Pile, which looks like a dinosaur spilled his art supply box. It’s the brothers’ ideal jungle gym.

Stephen’s artistic vision transformed the pile of lumber his logger brothers Doug and Jeff carved into a meticulous pile of sumi brushes and painting utensils. They spent a good 10 minutes debating the perfect angle of the top brush.

Sons of an art teacher, the Rock brothers opened a lot of art supplies on Christmas morning, yet none pursued formal art education. They’re raw artists, as raw as their logger hands that positioned the individual brushes.

So did Mama Rock commission the brothers to spend the afternoon in the park just to burn some energy?

Nope—that was all Alison Milliman and Bryan Ohno’s doing. Milliman founded MadArt in the Park and Ohno has served as project director for the installation. The project has brought together six leading Northwest artists (including Stephen and his brothers) to create a “community” of larger-than-life sculpture installations throughout the Capitol Hill park. Gallery4Culture’s getting in on the game, too.

Since August 1, these artists have been assembling their rocket ships, paintbrushes, and circular grass platforms, and starting tomorrow night, from 6–10, the park turns into a gallery. MadArt also offers artist-led talks and free indie films (featuring Film Festival in a Box) presented by IndieFlix.

MadArt in the Park, Cal Anderson Park, 6pm. Free entry.

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