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Client: City of El Paso

Location: El Paso, TX, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $500,000

Project Team

Client

Erin Ritter

City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs

Artist

Benjamin Ball

Ball-Nogues Studio

Artist

Gaston Nogues

Ball-Nogues Studio

Overview

“Not-Whole Fence” was created by Ball-Nogues Studio from Los Angeles, CA, to serve as one of the exterior walls of El Paso's newly constructed AAA baseball park. The 10 by 126-foot fence, is fabricated out of aluminum, and gives the overall impression of knot-holes on the picket fences surrounding historic ballparks.

Goals

As one of three major art pieces funded through the city’s 2 percent allocation for public art in capital projects, the art for the left field fence would only receive portion of the art budget. Overall, the ballpark had its own budget constraints. These factors created a need for this piece to serve both aesthetic and functional purposes. The solution was creating a physical barrier that mimicked the wooden fences that surrounded ballparks at the turn of the 20th century. But instead of a row of pickets completely enclosing the left field wall, the designers chose to replicate one picket to exaggerated proportions to create “Not-Whole Fence”.
“Not-Whole Fence” evokes the time honored image of people watching baseball games through the knot holes in picket fences. As pedestrians walk around the ballpark, they can peak through the openings in the fence to watch the El Paso Chihuahuas play.
Inside the ballpark, the fence serves as a backdrop for kids playing in the playground. As the sun sets, you can watch the light change and enhance the wood grain-like details incorporated into the fence.

Process

Ball-Nogues Studio is an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in the territory between architecture, art, and industrial design. Essential to each project is the “design” of the production process itself. The fence was based directly on a 3-D scans of a wooden fence picket capturing the grain and knot holes. The fence is composed of 212 aluminum extrusions that, when assembled, create a single “wooden” picket laying horizontally.