June 2, 2009

In the sticks

Last night we took the boys on one of our favorite outings - a tour of campus. It was one of those beautiful June nights that can almost make you forget that we ever have really crummy weather here. The tour always has the same components, just in differing orders.

We always drive by Jayhawk Bookstore and spy the big Jayhawks outside. We also always make a pass by the Chi Omega fountain and the boys always ask if we've ever gone swimming in it and then they wonder when they can do it too. We swing by the Campanile and if we're lucky we hear it ring. Last night we were living right because we arrived in time to hear someone practicing a real piece on the chimes that went on and on complete with "do-overs" when he or she made a mistake.

That always leads to a peek at Aunt Claire's bench and we typically have a little football conversation as we look down the hill into the stadium. Daddy is a bit like royalty around here these days, according to my young lads, and as we talk football he just gets faster and tougher with every passing year.

Last night's trip held an out-of-the-ordinary purpose, though. We wanted to see this:



This is a "stickwork" sculpture that was funded collaboratively by the Spencer Museum of Art and other departments at KU, and created by students and Patrick Dougherty, a North Carolina-based sculptor.

This fascinating structure is created with 6,000 pounds of locally-gathered tree branches and it leans two-stories into the air, intertwined with an old elm tree that graces the corner of 14th and Jayhawk Blvd. It has eight arched doorways and being inside it made me feel like a bird, esconced in a nest. The boys loved touching it and we all loved seeing how intricately it's woven. It seems simultaneously and contradictorily permanent and fragile. It's worth a trip. Just bring an open mind! It's expected to last for approximately two years so get a move on.

7 comments:

Rosemary said...

That's phenomenal! Can't wait to "experience" it. Yes, we'll be there this summer and it should still be up. Super pictures!

Kate and Dennis said...

I saw this on the news the other night and I so want to see it in person! And swimming in ChiO fountain....yep - I've done that before. :)
What a great little "field trip" for you guys! There is something magical about being on that campus.

Mom said...

Great pictures and narrative of a good "family" evening. And I noted that Mark gets stronger and faster every year. If only we could all do that. Love, Mom

Amber said...

Wow that is really awesome! We will have to check it out on our next visit. Your narrative really makes me miss that campus!

Stephanie said...

we saw that under construction when we were doing our tour of campus and wondered what it was. very cool!

Maria said...

Put that on the itenerary for our trip that I think is possibly happening maybe...

cisthummel said...

chThis is one of my favorite posts. I love it when you share your knowledge with us about what's going on in L-town. This thing is even cooler because it's truly unique!