cracks in the pavement

It’s really hard to write the next post after something terribly sad happens, but today is a particularly good day to do it, I suppose, since it marks the two-year anniversary of the blog here at greasy elbow. Of course, it was a plain old “personal website” for quite a while before that, but it’s nice to note the date anyhow.

And as it turns out, today we did something that I actually couldn’t wait to blog.

This afternoon, Cheris was perusing the Austin Chronicle for art shows we might want to check out, and read something about Cracks in the Pavement: an international, multi-phase project that involves artists hiding works in the places we live, work, and play, to be found by ordinary passers-by or by treasure hunters who follow the instructions and maps on the project’s website.

So, we put on our best treasure-hunting cargo shorts, strapped Violet into her car seat, and set off in search of the art hidden near us in south Austin. Besides the map, the best clue we had to go on was this image from the website:

the clue

We followed the map to Garrison District Park, and it was clear to see that the tree the artist had used as a clue was directly across the street from the park entrance. We parked, crossed over, and began to explore the grassy strip between the tree and the small stand of woods that served as a barrier for the neighborhood on the other side. For some reason, we expected that we’d find something in the tall grass right at the edge of the woods, and after searching in vain for a few minutes we started to suspect that someone else had beaten us to it.

Then it occurred to me that we hadn’t really explored the tree itself closely enough. I approached it again and my eyes were drawn to the main divisions in the trunk, which would be perfect places to stash something.

spotted it

When I got close enough, something was clearly perched there, just above my head. Since my lovely wife had proposed this little expedition, I called her over to do the honors of fetching it down, and snapped a picture of it before we took it down to have a closer look:

there it is

It was a small, primitive-style clay humanoid sculpture. Not the most striking work of art the world has ever seen, but getting there was at least half the fun.

the reward

Thanks to the artist, George Huffman, and all the Cracks in the Pavement organizers for making this afternoon a little bit out of the ordinary. We may just do some more treasure hunting in downtown Austin tomorrow…

folks before you had this to say:

  1. Keith

    Cool. I learned about this project last year but I have not had the chance participate. Maybe it would be a good family outing. Think the kiddos would like it? Oh, and thanks for reducing the South Austin treasures by one. :P

  2. L Santa

    Oooo…there’s one a few blocks from my apt…I’ll send the photo.

  3. Barb

    Rob – That’s pretty kewl. I don’t see Seattle on the list, or Vancouver BC. However, Portland is there – so i will at least pass this to my brother-in-law in Corvalis.

    Excellent post for moving forward, by the way :-)

  4. Rob L.

    Mr. Brent, there’s some goodies hidden in your fair city as well:

    Go get ’em, cowboy.

  5. Regina

    That sounds like so much fun!

  6. Brent

    This is why I like hanging out with you.

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