This morning I woke up well before the alarm went off but decided to get up anyway. As it happened, this was a good decision because it gave me time to go to Randall’s to vote before heading out on my adventure of the day. I even found a parking space right in front of the door. There were only five or six people ahead of me in the line and it moved quickly. Then I was on my way to meet Donette Harpole in Liberty Hill to visit the International Sculpture Park.
The Sculpture Park is the product of the first international symposium in the southwestern United States in October 1976 in celebration of the United States bicentennial. The event was the brain child of retired Air Force pilot Mel Fowler, a local painter and sculptor.
The small town of Liberty Hill (population about 500 at that time) hosted 25 sculptors from six countries. Many of the artists resided with local families who provided room and board for the two months that the artists created. Local organizations provided meals and local businesses supplied the materials for the sculptures. Concrete, steel, native granite and native limestone were the primary media used.
The sculptures were originally located in downtown Liberty Hill for about ten years but, due to vandalism, they were moved to their present location at Liberty Hill Intermediate School (originally the high school). Brad Goldberg’s ‘The Guardian’ stands as the park’s centerpiece. It was carved from the same granite as the Texas State Capitol. The park was dedicated in May 1987 by Texas First Lady Rita Clements.
The Liberty Hill Cultural Affairs Committee is trying to raise money to help clean the sculptures, which have suffered from the effects of erosion and mold. Last week they held the 40th Sculpture Celebration at the Foundation Park next door.
After our tour of the park we went to the Dahlia Café for lunch. The food and service were good. We also attended the farmer’s market on the grounds, where I bought two jars of local whipped honey – one with lemon and the other with cinnamon. Yummy!
STATS Route: US 183 N => TX 29 W to Liberty Hill => Loop 332 to school