For a week-long city-wide event in February 2014, HOMECOMING! Committee’s rendition of Alexander Calder’s sculpture “The Eagle” appeared north, south, east and west of downtown Fort Worth. The project grew out of an invitation for HOMECOMING! to create a temporary public artwork downtown with Burnett Park as our site for the work.
Calder’s 40 foot stabile “The Eagle” was a fixture of downtown Fort Worth from 1974 to 1999, when local lore tells of the night it “flew the coup” when the private owner of the work sold it to an unknown collector and robbed the city of an iconic public sculpture. The truth of the sale is far less tantalizing, but the loss of this beloved (or sometimes reviled) sculpture in large part bolstered the case for a city-managed, percent-for-the-arts program that in 2001 became Fort Worth Public Art (FWPA). When HOMECOMING! was engaged for the downtown project, it was a time in FWPA history when the city proposed to cut public funding from 2% to 1%. “The Eagle Has Landed” was meant to spark recollection and energy in the sculpture and to use that energy as an example of the power of public sculpture and the importance of supporting the city’s public art funding.
Materials for the project were funded by Downtown Fort Worth Inc, Fort Worth South, and FW Arts Council.
Production of the inflatable sculpture partially took place at Fort Worth Contemporary Arts when this university gallery was closed during the summer. Several people from the art community volunteered time to help cut, piece and sew the shaped panels of fabric together.
About HOMECOMING! Committee
HC! was an art collective operating and exhibiting in north Texas from 2011-2014, of which I was a founding member. For a record of other projects, see homecomingcommittee.com