Eastman Reading Garden: Figure/Ground

Designers: Scott Stibich, LAND Studio | City: Cleveland, OH | Project Type: art installation, temporary art
Date Visited: 09.19.12
Location: 325 Superior Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114
Official Opening Date: May 18, 2012 – October 15, 2012

Using 100 bright pink chairs, the installation ‘Figure/Ground’ transforms one of Cleveland’s best known public spaces.

Artist Scott Stibich teamed up with LAND Studio to create Figure/Ground, the third installment of See Also, an annual program that brings temporary urban art installations to the Eastman Reading Garden every summer. The project explores how the relationship between people and their environment can be stimulated by the addition of a bold splash of color and movable furniture.

Sandwiched between Cleveland Public Library’s two main buildings, the Eastman Reading Garden has been enjoyed by residents and visitors as a place of rest, contemplation, and quiet reading peppered with whimsical wordplay and sculpture.

Stibich used splashed of bright pink not only on the movable furniture, but on window paneling as well.

According to freshwater Cleveland:

“My goal was to disrupt the architecture just enough to displace the viewer,” says Stibich. “The garden is a space where everyone comes to talk or just reflect and get lost in their day. I carried the pop-up color into the architecture, too.”

Walking by the Eastman Reading Garden, the bright pink color immediately draws you into the shaded park. The mere act of moving the chairs makes users become part of the art installation. While I was there, I watched people come into the space, for no other purpose than to walk through the pink-studded oasis. Paired with the fun and whimsical permanent art pieces in the garden, this urban space is one of my favorite in downtown Cleveland–not to mention how I’ve also fallen completely for downtown Cleveland’s fantastic public library. I love that they have temporary urban art installations in this space every summer.

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