A good crowd turned out Wednesday, Nov. 10 to dedicate the ‘artistrees’ at Caddo Common Park. The trees, sculpted by Bruce Allen and conceived by Allen and the late artist Jim Hayes, are beautiful, artful additions to a needed downtown greenspace. The Artistrees are named “Diamonds for Jim” in honor of Hayes.
You can see the LED-lit trees aglow every evening after sunset at 869 Texas Ave.
Original Story- October 14, 2021.
Caddo Common’s new Bruce Allen/Jim Hayes ‘artistrees’ have been planted in the food court area in Caddo Common Park. The park is the cornerstone of the 9-block Shreveport Common Art and Culture District, envisioned as a place filled with creativity and unexpected art.
Three vibrantly-blue metal trees grew quickly to provide additional artistic ‘umph!’ to the park. The 20′ and 25′ -tall structures are lit and will go by the name “Diamonds for Jim” in honor of the late Jim Hayes, a local artist responsible for a variety of Shreveport Common projects.
“This is Jim’s design,” says Allen. “We started years ago designing something that would be dynamic and fit with what the community wanted in the new greenspace.” Allen describes the tree’s bases as having the feel of cypress trunks. He says the branches and panels were designed to create a canopy over the area where the table sets will go. The electric blue trunks have a shiny, almost reflective quality that was created by a combination of repeated grinding of the metal bases and working with Martin Specialty Coatings for a “candy coat“ finish, according to Allen. The sun creates a glow through the acrylic panels by day. At night the panels are LED lit.
Pam Atchison, executive director of Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) hopes everyone will come to experience the new addition to the park. “It’s UNexpected and Unimaginable,” she says. “Through Bruce’s fantastic artistry, the trees are as dramatic by day as they are at night, when the spectacular leaves glow brilliantly.”
The Mike McSwain-designed outdoor performance pavilion on the south side of the park is under construction now and should be completed in 2022. A misting station, table sets and a game kiosk are planned for later this year. In the meantime, SRAC will continue UNCOMMON Sundays in Caddo Common park this Sunday, Oct. 13 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm and on Nov. 21 when the artistrees will be commemorated with a confetti cannon celebration.
Article from 10-7-21
If you’ve driven past Caddo Common lately, you’ve likely noticed new construction activity. The green space at the intersection of Cotton, Texas Avenue and Crockett Streets has launched the latest phase of improvements which include a performance pavilion and artistic flourishes. On the Cotton Street side of the park, DBI construction has begun the work on the pavilion, which will eventually provide the stage area for musicians, plays in the park and other fun events. Closer to the Crockett Street side, work is beginning to install a creative variety of art ‘trees’.
The pavilion work is scheduled to be completed by mid summer 2022, but a portion of the park will remain open during the construction. November’s Downtown Artwalk on Thursday, Nov. 4 will wind its way around Shreveport Common. Join us then to see all the improvements that are underway!