The Art of Jester Park
Public art has the power to energize our public spaces, arouse our thinking, and transform the places where we live, work, and play into more welcoming and beautiful environments that invite interaction. Beyond its enriching personal benefits, public art is a true symbol of societal maturity. Public art helps green space thrive, enhances roadsides, pedestrian corridors , and community gateways; it demonstrates unquestionable civic pride.” "Wood Is Art”, Public art Benefits of Public Art [www.lakewoodisart.com]
Explore local art as you adventure throughout Jester Park
Over the last decade, Polk County Conservation has expanded public art throughout our park system. Today, park visitors can experience a myriad of art that educates, inspires, informs and arouses their curiosity about our natural world. This link shows you our current public art and where to find it!
The Galleries at the Jester Park Nature Center
The Galleries at Jester Park Nature Center offers the opportunity for local art to be displayed and made available for sale to park visitors.
Current Exhibition - Beauty
This art exhibition highlights the work of Bill Allen.
Bill’s art is inspired by moments of transient beauty and places where beauty is perhaps unexpected. This exhibit of Bill’s artwork is an eclectic mix of portraiture, natural subjects, and vignettes of everyday life. Bill is a local celebrity here at the Jester Park Nature Center. You may have taken one of many watercolor classes he has taught for us. More of Bill's work can be found on his website at www.wballenart.com
Beauty will be on display from May 1 - August 27 during Jester Park Nature Center hours. Hours can be found at jesterparknaturecenter.com. For additional information, please contact Missy Smith at 323-5317.
FREE to the public
The Jester Park Sculpture Trail features 5 unique nature-inspired public works of art. Each sculpture is located along a beautiful nature trail beginning at the front entrance of the Jester Park Nature Center. Take a hike and discover each art piece as the trail leads you around the pond, over the creek, through the woods, and eventually back to the nature center. During the hike, you will discover sculptures meant to educate, inform, and nurture our fascination and curiosity about the natural world. The newest sculpture, "Horai" was recently added. This full size bull elk, made from barbed wire and 16 gage welded scrap metal, was created by artist, Jeff Best, of Devil's Rope Studio. Hoari means a portion of time or season and with this piece, Hoari is referring to the elk's fall bugling season when he competes for breeding rights. Check out this video for a talk with the artist about his piece.
The sculpture trail now culminates with Long Distance, a temporary outdoor exhibit, displayed behind the Jester Park Nature Center in conjunction with our permanent outdoor Prairie Sculpture Trail. This interactive sculpture is on loan to us from artist, Nathan Pierce, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This abstraction is an interactive sculpture! The viewer can rotate the top, and aim it in the direction they want to send a signal. Using your imagination this sculpture can send signals across the universe. Join us in welcoming Long Distance at the May 11th Galleries Opening Reception at the Jester Park Nature Center starting at 6 pm. Long Distance will remain on display through April 1, 2024. Check out this video for a talk with the artist about his piece.
Public Art Throughout Our Parks
Don't stop your art exploration at Jester Park. You can find public art throughout our park system.
Medium: Willow and Terracotta
Size: 4' x 8'
Artists: Pam Dennis and Ryk Weiss
Great Western Trail
River Chuck Stop, 2018
Medium: Steel, Repurposed Bicycle
Size: 12' tall
Artists: Barney Feezell and Steve Haefner
Thomas Mitchell Park
Morel Mushroom, 2005
Medium: Wood Carving (oak)
Size: 7.5 'x 5'
Artists: Mike Sibley and Jim Swearengin