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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Re: Submitted for Jen’s Approval 2

posted by on July 15 at 15:25 PM

It is Day 2 (here is Day 1) of Medium-Sized Sculpture-Park Sculpture With Dan Savage, wherein he, while on vacation, torments his art critic by posting photographs of medium-sized sculpture park sculpture found all over the town where he’s vacationing, Saugatuck, Michigan. Apparently, this panoply of art is all part of a program Saugatuck’s calling Art ‘round Town. Aw, shucks!

Today’s specimen is Zack Wallerius’s Not Sevens, made in 2003.


Because the artist was a junior at Saugatuck High School when he made this sculpture for the school grounds (with the help of shop teacher Mr. Rehkopf), and because in an interview about it he is reported to have said that “Having a sculpture on display is a great experience,” I would not like to ruin that experience with my meddling critique.

I will say, however, that this was my favorite of the commenters’ comments:

Amputated robot tentacles?

Posted by Kalakalot | July 15, 2008 2:48 PM

I will also say that Wallerius has neither given up on art nor on seven shapes.

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How long is Dan going to be in Michigan?

Or, more to the point, how long are you guys going to poke fun at Midwesterners (i.e. people not living in the epicenter of hip, urban cool, Seattle, Washington)?

Just curious how long I'll have to grit my teeth and ignore these posts.

Posted by Kentuckian | July 15, 2008 3:40 PM

I'd be curious to know what your critique would have been if you hadn't read up on the artist... after all, as a minor the only skill he lacked over more established artists was the ability to spew metaphorical bullshit at gullible art critics.

Posted by Pinball Wizard | July 15, 2008 3:45 PM

Sisyphusian. And I love it when it misses a step, as we all do from time to time.

I will put this in my dining room and run it during dinner parties, instead of the stereo, because I like the sound.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 15, 2008 3:45 PM

#1, maybe because I was born in the midwest I'm to dumb to figure it out but I dont really see what they're making fun of?

Posted by Bud Dickman | July 15, 2008 4:18 PM

Oh, Kentuckian, stop being so defensive. Terrible public art is a national treasure, not a regional tic. Normally we mock it here in Seattle, but right now, we're doing a little road tour while Dan's in Michigan. And you never know, he might come across something really interesting one of these days!

Answer: One week. You're off the ignoring hook Friday.

Yours in Smalltownhood (I'm from East Greenbush, NY, no less),

Posted by Jen Graves | July 15, 2008 4:32 PM

C'mon, Bud @4. You don't have to have that sensitive of an irony radar to pick up on the tone of these first two posts:


"Discussing dreck daily from afar is the cherished dream of every critic."

She's being sarcastic, Bud. And, y'know, she called it all "dreck" having seen only one photo.


"wherein he ... torments his art critic"

I know! An art critic in a big coastal city being forced to stoop so low as to view the art of small-town hacks. The horror!

"this panoply of art is all part of a program Saugatuck’s calling Art ‘round Town. Aw, shucks!"

See, Bud? It doesn't take a master communicator to catch the derision in that "Aw, shucks!" does it?

God forbid these people in Saugatuck, Michigan make their own art and try to add a little culture to their small town.

There are more subtle little digs here and there, typical of The Stranger's distaste for the unlearned yokels in the flyover states. But that's enough for now. More will come tomorrow, if not in the next Saugatuck critique, then in another Slog post.

Posted by Kentuckian | July 15, 2008 4:40 PM

even when going to a small but apparently progressive-enough to host a gay family festival midwestern town, dan still can't resist poking fun at the unlearned yokels for their public art. what an ass.

Posted by provincialism | July 15, 2008 5:55 PM

Relax, Kentuckian! Speaking as someone who's spent my summers in Saugatuck/Douglas since I was a baby (my mom's side of the family's been living there since the late 1800s), I can tell you that EVERYONE criticizes the Art 'Round Town sculptures. It's fun and it does get people talking about art, but no one takes it terribly seriously.

Too bad Dan didn't do this last summer, though, or he could have gotten Jen's opinion on the controversy over the sculpture they put in front of the old town hall. It was of a little boy pissing on a wall (writing something snarky, but I don't remember what). Lots of candidates for letter of the day, as I suspect you can imagine.

Posted by Megan | July 15, 2008 9:31 PM

Hmmm. Has nobody yet observed that the right-angular figures on all scales are in fact not sevens -- they're logical "not" signs?

And this in a boolean burg like Seattle? Why is there never a science reporter around when you need one?

Posted by RonK, Seattle | July 16, 2008 11:41 AM

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