A new, colorful and joyful sculpture, symbolizing revitalization in the Roeland Park community, will be installed in R Park in the spring of 2019. This sculpture will fulfill the first of 7 public art focal points designated in the R Park Master Plan and will join with future art pieces, some created by local and regional artists.
This sculpture project, led by Citizens Sculpture Initiative for R Park with guidance from the Arts Advisory Committee of Roeland Park, will be funded entirely by grants and tax-deductible private and business contributions. This sculpture, a gift to the City of Roeland Park, has received the unanimous support of Mayor Mike Kelly and the City Council. It has also been endorsed by the Arts Council of Johnson County.
Included here is The R Park Sculpture Proposal, which gives much good information about the project.
Internationally acclaimed and award winning sculptor Jorge Blanco was commissioned to design an iconic sculpture specifically for R Park. The playful and active figure of the Runner in his design symbolizes the forward movement and progress of the City of Roeland Park and will act as a welcoming herald for visitors who come to the park for fun, fitness and community engagement. Three Rs on the rings represent the conventional 3 Rs of Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rithmetic as a tribute to all teachers and students, locally and globally, and a reference to Roeland Park Elementary school, formerly on the site. The figure, standing 5-6’ tall on 8’ posts, will be made of heavy aluminum with a durable powder-coated paint finish that can withstand extreme temperatures and allow for easy maintenance. The piece is expected to last more than 50 years.
Jorge Blanco is known for making sculpture that captures the energy and vitality of the human spirit. Using bright colors and clean shapes, his creations evoke a playfulness that is inviting to children and to all people with a playful heart. Blanco, a Venezuelan-born American citizen, has created outdoor sculpture for over 30 years. His work can be seen in more than 30 cities around the world, including Leawood, Kansas.
Jorge Blanco will visit Roeland Park in late July, 2018, to consult with Citizens Sculpture Initiative for R Park, the Arts Advisory Committee, Public Works, and the Parks Committee regarding the ideal location for the sculpture in R Park. During Blanco’s visit, an event is planned for Roeland Park citizens to meet and engage with the artist. Blanco will make a second visit to Roeland Park in the late spring of 2019 to supervise the installation of the sculpture.
Tax-deductible donations for this $56,000 sculpture project can be made payable to “Roeland Park Community Foundation,” Memo on check: “R Park Sculpture” and mailed to Roeland Park City Hall, 4600 W. 51st Street, Roeland Park, Kansas 66205. Credit card donations can be made in person at Roeland Park City Hall.
Donations of any size are greatly valued and appreciated. Donors will be invited to an artist reception to meet Jorge Blanco at the time of the sculpture installation and their names will be listed on two websites, www.roelandpark.net and www.myrpark.org, and printed in a “Roeland Parker” newsletter.
To Have Your Name Listed on the Sculpture Plaque:
Individuals and Businesses Donors, giving at the following levels, will have their names listed at that specific level on a plaque at the sculpture site.
Inspiration Level $10,000 or more
Achievement Level $ 5,000 or more
Dedication Level $ 2,500 or more
Motivation Level $ 1,000 or more
Encouragement Level $ 500 or more
Continuity of Roeland Park’s Art Leadership
Roeland Park has a history of leadership in urban art with its prior “Art in R Park” outdoor sculpture program and with its current sculptures registered with the Smithsonian. The installation of this new piece will be a continuation of the rich tradition of public art in Roeland Park. Along with enriching the visual environment for Roeland Park residents, showcasing an iconic large-scale Jorge Blanco sculpture will attract people from Metro KC and beyond to R Park to view and photograph the colorful work of art, just as outdoor sculptures have done for Leawood, Merriam and other surrounding communities. Outdoor public art is an exceptional way to showcase what a vital community we have and who we are.
Citizens Sculpture Initiative for R Park
The Citizens Sculpture Initiative for R Park (CSI) is comprised of Roeland Park residents who are active in the local arts community, who are arts advocates and/or who are members of the Arts, Parks or Sustainability committees. CSI works under the guidance of the Arts Advisory Committee. Our Mission is “To enlighten, educate, and enhance an appreciation of the arts for all citizens by providing a world class sculpture that is visually and intellectually inspirational.”
Thank you for your Donation!
Fundraising for prior amenities in R Park has been successful because of the generous contributions of community-minded citizens and businesses like you. Your support in helping bring this spirited public art piece to R Park is honored and appreciated!
Citizens Sculpture Initiative for R Park
For Additional Information on the Sculpture and the Artist, please see below:
The City of Leawood installed two Jorge Blanco sculptures in Leawood City Park, Leawood, KS, in 2008.
April Bishop, Cultural Arts Coordinator in Leawood, said this about the artist Jorge Blanco:
“You picked the right artist to start with. Nothing bothers him. He’s easy to work with and a complete professional. Of all the artists we have worked with, Jorge has been the easiest. He’s highly experienced in outdoor sculpture and is now internationally known.”
Brian Anderson, Superintendent of Parks in Leawood, stated:
“Of all the public art in Leawood, Jorge Blanco’s pieces have generated the most positive responses from the public and have withstood the outdoor elements beautifully for the 10 years since their installments.”