With the Blood Moon trying to emerge through the clouds the night before, a flawless man in the moon shown over North Texas on Wednesday, November 9. One of the spots enjoying the glow was the Katy Trail Art Society‘s $10,000+ donors’ dinner on the terrace of Bilboquet.
As Katy Trail Art Co-Chair Amanda Dillard Shufeldt reviewed the final placement of seating assignments for the dinner with Friends of the Katy Trail Major Gifts and Membership Senior Director Ann Whitley Wood, Co-Chair Charlie Shufeldt admitted that the trio of Shufeldt youngsters had protested their folks from a night out. But duty called.
As the group of Jessica Nowitzki, Bela and Chase Cooley, John Relton and Amy and Les Ware took their places at the table, Charlie provide an overview of the Katy Trail Art partnerships with “Dallas area museums, art collectors and the community at large to expand the role of contemporary art in public spaces in Dallas. The initiative borrows, commissions and produce world-class art projects on and around the Katy Trail to inspire creativity, spark conversation, encourage self-reflection, challenge assumptions, foster community building and promote civic ownership of the Katy Trail.”
The topic of the night was the program’s third installation Nasher Public + Katy Trail Art: “Borest Forest, Grunting Grasses” that “runs the length of the Katy Trail from the Thomsen Overlook to just south of where the trail intersects at Knox Street.”
Nasher Sculpture Center’s Chief Curator Jed Morse introduced artists Jeff Gibbons and Gregory Ruppe, who have often experimented with environmental psychology and sound in their installations.
The “Borest Forest, Grunting Grasses” was a perfect example of their “deep consideration of our proximity to nature.”
Having debuted this past fall, “the installation comprises a series of vignettes featuring sculptures of squirrels that appear at intervals along the trail blending naturally into the environment of the trail distinguished from the real animal only by their fixity.” Adding a bit of whimsy to the sculptures, the squirrels’ faces have an uncanny resemblance to the artists.
Jeff and Gregory added that even the “various placements of the sculptures along the trail suggest a narrative, a slightly surrealist story, like a fairy tale, that reflects the vaguely otherworldly experience of the trail itself — a thin thread of nature strung along an industrial rail line that runs through the urban environs of Uptown.”
The previous installations were “Seeding the Path” by artist Sara Cardona, in partnership with Nasher Public that was in place along the Trail from November 2021 to March 2022, followed by “Guest” by Hadi Fallahpisheh from April 2022 through fall 2022.
Membership in the Society is available at different donation levels here with a variety of perks.
* Photo courtesy of Friends Of The Katy Trail