TEXARKANA, Texas — A sculpture displayed at Spring Lake Park since last year will stay there permanently, thanks to donations used to buy it.
Local nonprofit Friends of Texarkana Parks raised $7,000 to buy the George Tobolowsky sculpture. The Wilbur Smith Rotary Club, the Texarkana Area Community Foundation, the Patterson Troike Foundation and anonymous donors contributed.
“The sculpture is a large-scale structure that is built for durability and to inspire imagination. It will weather well outdoors where it has been — and will be — viewed, touched, and admired by the thousands of annual visitors to the park,” a news release from the city Parks and Recreation Department states.
“We’re very pleased,” said Brian Goesl, CEO and executive director of the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council. “It was a community effort to get the first piece of public art in Spring Lake Park.”
The sculpture is one of about a dozen by Tobolowsky that have been on temporary display at various Texarkana locations since mid-2018. Most of the pieces originally were supposed to be returned by the end of 2018, but the exhibition has been extended indefinitely.
“In some cases, (Toblowsky has) left pieces in places up to four years,” Goesl said. “In some ways he’s storing them here.”
A different Tobolowsky sculpture titled “Mapping the Mountain,” which is on display at Texas-side City Hall, will also stay there permanently, purchased by the city with grant funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Communities Foundation of Texas.
In 2013, Texarkana’s Regional Arts Center mounted an exhibition of Tobolowsky’s work titled “Bending the Rules.” His sculptures have been exhibited frequently in the U.S. and overseas, most recently as part of the Venice Biennale Architecture and Design show in Italy. His accolades include a 2012 Award for Excellence in Creative Arts from the Dallas Historical Society.
At his Mountain Springs Sculpture Studio in Dallas, Tobolowsky “creates steel and stainless steel sculptures by welding together ‘found objects,’ discarded machine parts, industrial parts and scrap metal.
“He lets the original shapes of the discarded steel pieces determine the form of each sculpture by balancing its compositions with each ‘found object’ or piece of scrap metal. Tobolowsky’s sculptures are visual memories that reflect his business experiences of the past three decades working in the legal and business worlds,” his website, georgetobolowsky.com, states.
Tobolowsky plans to create a sculpture using metal salvaged from the Hotel Grim during its renovation, Goesl said.