Morgana Run Trail
About the Work
In 2007, in partnership with Slavic Village Development (SVD), LAND studio worked with local artists Christopher Diehl and Shaun Breslin to develop a public-art master plan for the Morgana Run Trail, a recently opened multipurpose trail in Slavic Village. Goals of the plan include raising awareness of the trail, making it easier to use, and assuring that trail users have a pleasant and safe experience. The plan set out a range of possible projects and project approaches that can be carried out over several years and identifies opportunities for artists to continue influencing life along the trail.
In the spring of 2008, the first of the trail’s artworks, also the handiwork of artists Diehl and Breslin, came into being. A series of markings, laid down at the trail’s intersections with neighborhood streets, consist of large graphics indicating present-day street names, the name of the trail itself, and, in the case of numbered streets, smaller markings showing the streets’ pre-1906 names. A set of durable stencils will allow SVD and neighborhood volunteers to maintain the markings.
In the summer, muralist John Troxell joined the artist team to begin painting a 350-foot-wide mural, a mix of abstract and representational images, facing Broadway from the rear wall of the Lextech Industries building. The mural is the largest in the city and serves as a beacon for both the neighborhood and the trail. Sherwin Williams donated significant amounts of paint and consultation services to the project. LAND studio will continue to work closely with SVD to implement future phases of the trail’s public art plan.
For the East 49th Street trailhead, SVD and LAND studio wanted a marker that would be an inspiring piece of artwork ,while also serving to identify the entrance of the trail to trail users moving along 49th Street. The trailhead is in view of Interstate 77, which runs immediately parallel to 49th Street, providing yet another purpose for the artwork—to call the attention of the tens of thousands of daily passersby to the trail and Slavic Village.
In January 2009, a committee assembled to review the local artist proposals chose Jake Beckman’s idea for a 25-foot-tall sculpture making use of bicycle wheels to give the impression of a giant flower. The project, named Rotaflora, was installed in June 2010.
For a future project in 2012, local architect, Jonathan Kurtz, will create a non-traditional arch composed of four sizes of stock steel tubing to span Broadway Avenue near its intersection with East 49th Street and act as a gateway to the Broadway neighborhood and greater Slavic Village.
LAND studio will continue to work closely with SVD to implement future phases of the trail’s public art plan.