Client: City of Dallas
Location: Dallas, TX, United States
Completion date: 2020
Brad Oldham Sculpture
Brad Oldham Sculpture
As an utterly kind, social animal, this dog feels his greatest purpose and joy when he spends time with his friends, helping when he can. His rabbit and bird friends climb on his back to form a 14-foot-tall friendship pyramid immortalized in mirror-polished stainless steel. Best friends lift each other up, and these animals show that simply playing together in a park can also be brilliant fun.
Artists Brad Oldham and Christy Coltrin felt strongly that this original concept with the theme of friendship and community worked for Hillcrest Village Green Park in far north Dallas as it was green space that the nearby community worked for years to get. The city council representative, the real estate developer, and the neighborhood came together to convert a community-based retail parking lot into public green space for the whole family and bring in park-facing retailers. On a generous 18″ tall custom concrete base, “Stacked Friends” marks the park entrance and orients residents and visitors as the vertical sculpture has strong sight lines in the wider neighborhood. Viewers sit on the base to rest in this well-used city park. And you know, what’s better than best friends? Stacked friends!
"Stacked Friends" welcomes visitors and community residents at the entrance of Hillcrest Village Green Park. The sculpture needed to appeal to a wide range of ages of the diverse families and community-based retailers near the park as well as capture attention from cars traveling by.
After working with the City of Dallas, the real estate developer, and landscape architect, the artists presented their placemaking sculpture concepts to a the city council and committee of community members. It was during the open discussions and review of the sculpture concepts that residents shared what the park meant to them and what they hoped the artwork would reflect. The new park was designed with access to a walking and biking trail that was well used for exercise, nature sightings, and family time together, often with a pet. The Brad Oldham Sculpture team then finalized designs, sculpted models, created shop drawings, worked with its engineer, fabricated, and installed the sculpture. The community was looped back into process at the outdoor dedication. The mayor, city council, parks department, and the artists shared their stories of how "Stacked Friends" came to live in this park, cut a ribbon, and officially opened a new city park.
The dedication of "Stacked Friends" and opening of the Hillcrest Village Green Park was especially heartfelt because it was the first outdoor event for many after COVID. The role of public art and green space in a community was truly felt on this day and has continued to have that same feeling today.