Client: Arts Council of Fort Worth and Tarrant County
Location: Fort Worth, TX, United States
Completion date: 2019
Artwork budget: $195,607
Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii, LLC
Jim HIrschfield and Sonya Ishii
Fabrication Specialties, LLC
Sitting atop a Fort Worth roundabout “Carousel” is both a literal and figurative concept of carousels. Measuring 24′ x 28’, and fabricated out of stainless steel and aluminum, “Carousel” reverses the usual perspective, and the whirling of this merry-go-round is created as travelers drive the roundabout hosting its sculptural pavilion. Our carousel also replaces the more commonly used horse with parrots, the mascot of the neighboring high school in the diverse neighborhood known as “The Polly”. A carousel is a delight to children, and a source of recollection and nostalgia for adults. At the same time, it is a profound motif for life: With all life’s ups and downs, what goes around, comes around. Or as the singer Joni Mitchell sang: We go round and round and round, in the circle game.
As written above, our metaphor, the carousel, is a delight to children, and a source of recollection and nostalgia for adults. At the same time, it is a profound motif for life: With all life’s ups and downs, what goes around, comes around. The work also speaks to how life is often experienced as a journey of exciting discovery, with us as voyagers looking to see what’s around the bend.
Our goal was to be certain that the artwork related to the neighborhood where it sits, an area known as The Polly. It was here that a Fort Worth black owned theater company named The Jubilee Theater got its start. Important to this fact is the notion that carousels, with their lighting and prancing horses. exude an air of drama, and this alludes to the renowned theater and its historical significance to the community. At the same time, the Parrot, the neighborhood’s Polytechnic High School mascot, brings both bright color to the roundabout and in an amusing manner, references the school and neighborhoods nickname “The Polly”.
As artists, we met with the community to discuss their history and aspirations, what was important to them and what they hoped the artwork would reflect. As we designed our concept their words range loudly, and we believe we were able to address their goals for the artwork. We then worked closely with the Arts Council of Fort Worth to bring our ideas to fruition.