OOSI Sculpture

Huddle (removed)

1988 / Gene Kangas / Cleveland

huddle 1988 trinity cathdral 1.jpg

Huddle consisted of two environmental sculptures. One was 36 feet long x 18 feet wide x 7 feet high. The other was 24 feet long x 12 feet wide x 8 feet high. They were commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund for donation to Trinity Cathedral. HUDDLE was designed to transform an empty outdoor space in the churchyard into a welcoming public park. The sculptures conveyed ongoing community concerns of the Church. Elements were constructed of Corten and stainless steel. The two environments included life-size and larger figures and animals, a large table with cut-out words expressing world concerns, plus benches, night-lighting, paving and landscaping.

Installed outside of Trinity Cathedral, Huddle was commissioned by Peter Putnam in honor of his mother, Mildred Putnam, who was an active community member at the Cathedral. Huddle was one part of a trilogy of sculptures requested by Putnam. A second sculpture called Door sat directly across Euclid Avenue on the CSU campus. A third sculpture was intended to be situated near the CSU Law School. Each was to address different issues. After Putnam’s accidental passing, the third was not built.

Huddle featured various figures, animals and birds. A central time capsule chronicled who each figure was modeled after, as well as information about that person. Gene Kangas said that he was inspired for the positions of the seated figures by Rodin's Thinker. And, he mentioned that the pensive pose is exemplary of human nature and the innate desire to seek, understand and search.

One of the most remarkable models Kangas has used was named Ralph. Ralph was a homeless gentleman who spent much of his time around the church property. On Kangas' first visit to the Cathedral, he encountered Ralph in the dark alley leading to the Church. Ralph appeared out of the darkness towards Gene. It was a memorable encounter. Ralph always seemed to be on the Church property whenever Kangas surveyed the future installation site and/or met with folks from the Church. One day, Gene decided to use Ralph as a model. He approached Ralph and had a conversation with him. Ralph was long winded and hard to follow, but he agreed to have photos taken. He asked Kangas, "How do you want me to pose?" Kangas responded: "Pensively, with your hand on your chin in a fist." Ralph surprisingly replied, "You mean like Rodin's 'Thinker'?"

Ralph’s response stunned Kangas because it was so unexpected. "Yes, exactly like that," he said. Kangas took his photos and created a repetitive silhouette based on Ralph. The image echoes one of Huddle’s many messages: we all enter into a philosophical discussion with the rest of history when we think. We all ask questions and search for answers. Each silhouette of the various thinker figures represents different, sometimes surprising, places that knowledge and understanding come from. It might be a philosopher or scientist; but just as likely, it's a person you might never expect to be acquainted with 19th c. French sculptors.

Unfortunately, we all tend to ignore the homeless. They are invisible to us. It is a societal problem. Ralph was reborn in the sculpture 10 times.

Huddle was removed sometime later by the Church and sent to the old Doan Electric Building on CSU’s campus, so they could add a wing onto the Cathedral. Then, it was inadvertently destroyed and disposed of when that building was demolished. Ralph’s image and the entire sculpture disappeared. Gene Kangas was not consulted nor given the opportunity to reinstall the piece elsewhere as Peter Putnam would have preferred. Gone with the sculpture is the time capsule. A private message by the artist welded on one of the animals to deceased Peter Putnam read “Thanks Peter Rabbit.” That was lost. And, so was the entire Memorial to his mother Mildred Andrews. The loss is an example of pathetic communication between institutions.

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas

Location: Destroyed | Previous Location: Euclid Avenue Courtyard, Trinity Cathedral, 2021 East 22nd Street.

County

: Cuyahoga

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Huddle (removed),” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed November 18, 2018, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/337.

Dublin Core

Title

Huddle (removed)

Description

Huddle consisted of two environmental sculptures. One was 36 feet long x 18 feet wide x 7 feet high. The other was 24 feet long x 12 feet wide x 8 feet high. They were commissioned by the Mildred Andrews Fund for donation to Trinity Cathedral. HUDDLE was designed to transform an empty outdoor space in the churchyard into a welcoming public park. The sculptures conveyed ongoing community concerns of the Church. Elements were constructed of Corten and stainless steel. The two environments included life-size and larger figures and animals, a large table with cut-out words expressing world concerns, plus benches, night-lighting, paving and landscaping.

Installed outside of Trinity Cathedral, Huddle was commissioned by Peter Putnam in honor of his mother, Mildred Putnam, who was an active community member at the Cathedral. Huddle was one part of a trilogy of sculptures requested by Putnam. A second sculpture called Door sat directly across Euclid Avenue on the CSU campus. A third sculpture was intended to be situated near the CSU Law School. Each was to address different issues. After Putnam’s accidental passing, the third was not built.

Huddle featured various figures, animals and birds. A central time capsule chronicled who each figure was modeled after, as well as information about that person. Gene Kangas said that he was inspired for the positions of the seated figures by Rodin's Thinker. And, he mentioned that the pensive pose is exemplary of human nature and the innate desire to seek, understand and search.

One of the most remarkable models Kangas has used was named Ralph. Ralph was a homeless gentleman who spent much of his time around the church property. On Kangas' first visit to the Cathedral, he encountered Ralph in the dark alley leading to the Church. Ralph appeared out of the darkness towards Gene. It was a memorable encounter. Ralph always seemed to be on the Church property whenever Kangas surveyed the future installation site and/or met with folks from the Church. One day, Gene decided to use Ralph as a model. He approached Ralph and had a conversation with him. Ralph was long winded and hard to follow, but he agreed to have photos taken. He asked Kangas, "How do you want me to pose?" Kangas responded: "Pensively, with your hand on your chin in a fist." Ralph surprisingly replied, "You mean like Rodin's 'Thinker'?"

Ralph’s response stunned Kangas because it was so unexpected. "Yes, exactly like that," he said. Kangas took his photos and created a repetitive silhouette based on Ralph. The image echoes one of Huddle’s many messages: we all enter into a philosophical discussion with the rest of history when we think. We all ask questions and search for answers. Each silhouette of the various thinker figures represents different, sometimes surprising, places that knowledge and understanding come from. It might be a philosopher or scientist; but just as likely, it's a person you might never expect to be acquainted with 19th c. French sculptors.

Unfortunately, we all tend to ignore the homeless. They are invisible to us. It is a societal problem. Ralph was reborn in the sculpture 10 times.

Huddle was removed sometime later by the Church and sent to the old Doan Electric Building on CSU’s campus, so they could add a wing onto the Cathedral. Then, it was inadvertently destroyed and disposed of when that building was demolished. Ralph’s image and the entire sculpture disappeared. Gene Kangas was not consulted nor given the opportunity to reinstall the piece elsewhere as Peter Putnam would have preferred. Gone with the sculpture is the time capsule. A private message by the artist welded on one of the animals to deceased Peter Putnam read “Thanks Peter Rabbit.” That was lost. And, so was the entire Memorial to his mother Mildred Andrews. The loss is an example of pathetic communication between institutions.

Description provided by the artist, Gene Kangas

Creator

Date

1988

Format

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Previous

Euclid Avenue Courtyard, Trinity Cathedral, 2021 East 22nd Street.

Location Site

Destroyed

Installation Date

11/01/1987