- Artist: Carolyn Elaine & Tracy Van Duinen
- Assistants: Catina Robinson & Roosevelt Nunn
- Sponsorship: Chicago Public Art Group, Northwest Austin Council and Oppenheimer Family Foundation
- Three (3) Concrete Relief Guardian Totems, Cement Game Table & Hopscotch Pad Adorned with Broken Tile Mosaic
In the summer of 2001, Carolyn Elaine and Tracy Van Duinen (both Chicago Public Art Group artist) worked in collaboration to foster students’ involvement with the neighborhood at large by helping to create the Austin Community Sculpture Garden, located at the corner of Latrobe and Huron. The team which also included assistants Catrina Robinson and Roosevelt Nunn, built three concrete relief “garden totems” as well as a cement game table and a hopscotch pad adorned with broken tile mosaic.
Longtime gardening activist Mary Peery along with her Austin Green Team transformed the vacant lot into a community green-space three years ago. It was Peery’s idea to enhance the space with art created by area youths and she remained an active presence and guiding inspiration throughout the program.
The 15 or so students were initially asked what issues and images were most important to them and to their culture and community and later developed designs and symbolic imagery relating to the themes. To build technical skills, students did low-relief paper mache pieces based on their drawings, and then made three maquettes in clay.
John Pitman Weber (CPAG), served as structural consultant and The Prairie Group donated concrete for the artworks’ foundations and footings. Cement-bonded cinderblocks and fiberglass-reinforced stucco were used to build the five-foot-high totems, which feature the words Nature, Family and Peace, corresponding images, and the cast faces of Peery and student participants.