Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Some time ago, back in one of those seasons when things were chilly and empty (must say, that doesn't sound so awful right about now), I was struck by the work of a phantom artist-of-sorts on Ocean Drive. More recently, I've noticed installations on First Beach and at Sachuest Point. I know if I looked harder, I'd find more.

Are these sculptures today's sandcastles?? Or have they always been there, coming and going as they do, as resources become available and would-be artists are inspired to take hold of the opportunity (and whatever else they can find) and build something?? Must say, the recycling aspect is very appealing, very green, compared to the purchase of bright purple-or-pink plastic buckets and shovels to create far less sturdy structures.

Then there are all those fleeting installations of interwoven color and texture (not unlike the so-called pop-up stores on Bellevue Avenue) that wash in and out with the tide ...

But sometimes the opposite occurs: someone subtracts an element of color and texture from the environment. Case in point: Mr. Betty and I were walking along Division Street (two blocks from Thames yet a world apart) the other day and overheard one neighbor say to another neighbor: "Hey, have you seen my purple finial lying around anywhere?? It disappeared last night."

Now why would someone take a purple finial?? As a prank?? Because he or she really needed one?? To adorn his or her beach art??

The missing element looks more pink than purple (perhaps lavender) to me. Still, I'm keeping a lookout ...