As mentioned in the summer newsletter, we are working on adorning the park with a statue generously donated by local artist Joe Mooney. Sculpted in 1985, “Scheherazade” is named for a clever and erudite queen of Persian legend who preserves her life one night at a time by spinning irresistible tales to the delight of her king, who had executed many wives before her. The piece is a swirl of curved and irregularly shaped planes in bold primary colors, capturing the feelings of dynamism and excitement that accompany enchantment, myth, and storytelling through movement. As a place familiar with the energy and potential of youth, we know that she will find a fitting home in Clark Park.
Operating out of a workshop near 45th and Ludlow Streets, Mr. Mooney is known for his distinctive abstract steel and wooden sculptures, which, among other themes, retell and reinterpret ancient stories. His series “‘Make a statue of my friend’: Presenting Enkidu, Re-presenting the Epic of Gilgamesh,” on display for free at Ursinus College now through December 11th, examines the popular epic of the godlike king Gilgamesh with a focus on his faithful and wild companion Enkidu. His work, which can be viewed at joemooneysculpture.com, has been displayed across the region and nation, in permanent fixtures and temporary exhibitions, including at La Salle University, Alfred University in New York, the Penn State main campus library, the Moore College of Art and Woodmere Museum of Art in Philadelphia, in corporate collections such as at Deloitte and Wyeth Laboratories, and in many other galleries and other locations.
Our Planning Committee has been working to situate Scheherezade in a place that satisfies all stakeholders and maximizes the benefit to the park. After discussion internally and with our neighbors at University of the Sciences, we have settled on a proposed location south of Chester and east of 45th Street near the shuffleboard courts in B Park. We welcome your input as we continue with this process, and we hope you share our excitement over this invaluable addition.