Set In Stone

Chicago Park District
Written By Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800 acres of parkland, making it the largest municipal park manager in the nation. Visit the Chicago Park District's 597 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 70 nature areas, & hundreds of programs.

This design creates an interpretation of a traditional Chinese “scholar’s rock” by sculpting, molding, and fabricating a sculpture that emulates the magnificence felt through viewing these rocks. The scholar’s rock sculpture is placed at the center of a tranquil rock garden with handmade repurposed log benches for viewing and contemplation.

Does "set in stone" have these four prized qualities of Chinese scholar's rocks? (1) RESEMBLANCE TO MOUNTAIN LANDSCAPES (2) OVERHANGING ASYMMETRY (3) texture (4) moistness or glossy surface

"We took the energy that we got when looking at actual scholar’s rocks and then designed something that would emulate that same energy." -Andy Bellomo, Artist

In order to create "Set in Stone" the artists studied actual Chinese scholar's rocks and then designed a sculpture that emulates the magnificence felt through viewing these rocks. The piece was made by sculpting foam, coating it with a hardener and epoxy, and then finally painting and varnishing to give it the look of wet rock.

The two contemplation benches near the sculpture are made with wood reclaimed from dead Chicago Park District ash trees. These trees were killed by Emerald Ash Borers, an invasive beetle whose larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees. As they feed, they create the intricate patterns (above) that can be seen on the edges of the benches. Don't worry, the wood has been treated so there are no beetle larvae crawling on these seats!

On the occasion of the Gathering Spaces opening event, Anita Luk from the Chinese-American Museum wrote the below poem, translated here in English and Chinese. 

meet the team

Artists Andy Bellomo and Anna Murphy collaborated with the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago to create "Set in Stone"

The Chinese-American Museum promotes the culture and history of Chinese Americans in the Midwest through exhibitions, education and research. 

Process and artist photos ©Sandra Steinbrecher 2016  //  Video by Amber Mohammad Castañeda

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