Avocado – Site visit

Hill Arches by Henri Moore at Denver Botanic Gardens


As of yesterday, the Avocado has a resting place. Or, well, 2 preferred sites. Wayne and I met with Dan Jacobs, Dave Snyder and Brett Erickson from University of Denver to discuss the placement and installation for the sculpture. They were really great. We started off discussing the safety of the sculpture to the environment. I had the data sheets available (MSDS) that said there would be no toxicity to the fish. That would be a huge faux-pas if the sculpture looked great but was surrounded by dead fish floating on the surface, ugh.    

Anyway, I had in my mind the sculpture would float in the pond without realizing there are several parts to the pond – options, options, options. We also had to consider the issue of all the weddings booked for the campus with the larger pond as the prime photo-op location. Can’t imagine why a bride wouldn’t want a huge, bulbous veggie in her wedding photos – but that’s just me.    

Wedding Photo-op Pond at DU


But, valid point so we started looking at the smaller sites and Wayne, in his infinite wisdom, suggested a portion that is raised up but framed by the building behind it and the plants around it. He was comparing it to the Henri Moore sculpture we just saw at the Botanic Gardens. Great idea!    

Site Choice for the Floating Avocado


There was a lot of discussion of how we would anchor, tether and tie down the sculpture. Considering the Colorado high winds and the Avocado sitting at an angle we might need to weight the bottom of the pedestal supporting the sculpture. Yikes! I haven’t even gotten that far but now a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing. As we’re standing there I can tell Wayne’s mind is clicking away so really glad he’s a part of the discussion.    

We also walked a bit further to choose a contrasting location on the grass. The premise which the thesis is based isn’t the actual sculpture – if it’s good or bad – but the placement. So, the process of choosing the location we went through yesterday is really important to my observations. A second location that’s not in the pond, and not as exciting, will be just as important to observe. While checking out the little grassy mound for the second site we walked past some commotion with a crew that just created a water line break when they were installing an event tent on the campus. Oops! Thank goodness my Avocado will just be tied down with small tent stakes – not a huge drill like the pipe-breaker. You can’t tell from the picture but the sculpture would sit in sight of a much larger and cooler metal sculpture outside the Penrose Library. This should make it look dwarfed and a little silly, which is what I’m going for.    

"Grassy Knoll" between Driscoll Center and Penrose Library for 2nd display site


Oh, almost forgot, a super added bonus is that the pond is within prime sight of a campus security camera. I’m going to contact Ty Mills, in charge of security, to get a clip once the piece is installed. So, this is really starting to freak me out – lot’s of pressure not to mess up the whole thing. The shape of a huge avocado seems simple, but….     

Me, next to the fountain, Wayne made me add it


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