Chi Chi

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Client: Legacy Midtown Park

Location: Dallas, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $68,000

Project Team

Artist

Brad Oldham

Brad Oldham Sculpture

Artist

Christy Coltrin

Brad Oldham Sculpture

Client

Andrea Statman

The Legacy Senior Communities

Overview

Chi Chi the frog, with his charming, playful nature, and reflective material, animates the aquatic environment of an interior park located within a senior living community. His outstretched forelegs indicate that he is about to land from a big leap or perhaps catch a quick snack. Something good is happening, and Chi Chi is seconds from grasping that goodness. His big eyes have 180-degree peripheral vision to see all around the park, and his oversized feet enable him to make grand moves.

The frog symbolizes the lifecycle. His name was inspired by the term for the circle of roots that grow around a dying ginkgo tree. We also like that “chi” refers to vital energy infusing the body with internal power. Both meanings work well for this park location surrounded by ginkgo trees and host to life-affirming visits with family and friends.

Goals

The client wanted a sculpture to enliven the park while appealing to residents and the family and friends who visited them. The park is a well-used community space embraced by people of all ages throughout the year. In addition to the park experience, this installation aimed to provide strong sight lines for the residents inside the building and those who live in the towers above. Chi Chi captures the attention of viewers on the ground and in the balconies and windows above as the sculpture’s “skin” bounces soft reflections from the water and picks up ambient colors throughout the seasonal color changes. Chi Chi is a beloved centerpiece in the Legacy Midtown Park.

Process

We worked with both the facilities and development teams on this commission to learn the about the services provided at this retirement and assisted living facility. In business for more than 70 years, this organization has built a reputation for owning and operating some of the highest-rated and most innovative communities for senior living. Historically, architecture and interior design have been important, and public art sculpture was the next step in delivering the finest amenities to their residents. When visiting the bright, well-lit facilities, there was a feeling that residents were proud of their homes. The site visits and conversations confirmed that our sculpture needed to be playful. As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.”