OOSI Sculpture

Snow Fence

1981 / Gene Kangas / Cleveland

SnowFence2017a.jpg

The shadow of a little girl with an umbrella sits on a narrow green pipe accompanied by a similarly silhouetted dog. The pipe sits softly on the grass between the Thwing Center and the Mather building. As it approaches Thwing, it suddenly shoots into the air and doubles back over itself, 15 feet up, coiling as it sinks into the dirt across the yard. 6 colorful metal planks rest precariously against the undulating pipe.

Snow Fence takes its name from, well... snow fences. These slats of wood, connected by wire, exist to prevent snow drifts from building up. When asked, Kangas explained that he liked how snow fences only stopped specific things; they are easily passable by people and animals. He wanted Snow Fence to invite passing students to walk underneath and pass through the fence with ease, while white birds, like snowflakes, rest against the fence.

Kangas also noted that, as in all his sculptures, the silhouettes were modeled after real people in his life. The woman with the umbrella is his Mother-in-law, and the dog is his and his wife Linda's first german shepherd. The woman holds an umbrella. representing protection from the elements, while the dog represents protection from other threats. Kangas' work often incorporates I-Beams and hard-edged steel elements that interact with twisting, curving rails. He said that usually, the rails tended to symbolize nature while the I-beams represented human structure. Their relationship in Snow Fence is remarkable, as it suggests a mutual dependence: without the rail, the slats would collapse. and without the slats the rail would keel over into the dirt.

Snow Fence was the first sculpture acquired by the Putnam Collection in 1981.

Location: Next to the Thwing Center, the student union., Euclid Avenue

County

: Cuyahoga

Citation

: Gene Kangas, “Snow Fence,” Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory, accessed August 19, 2017, http://oosi.sculpturecenter.org/items/show/340.

Dublin Core

Title

Snow Fence

Description

The shadow of a little girl with an umbrella sits on a narrow green pipe accompanied by a similarly silhouetted dog. The pipe sits softly on the grass between the Thwing Center and the Mather building. As it approaches Thwing, it suddenly shoots into the air and doubles back over itself, 15 feet up, coiling as it sinks into the dirt across the yard. 6 colorful metal planks rest precariously against the undulating pipe.

Snow Fence takes its name from, well... snow fences. These slats of wood, connected by wire, exist to prevent snow drifts from building up. When asked, Kangas explained that he liked how snow fences only stopped specific things; they are easily passable by people and animals. He wanted Snow Fence to invite passing students to walk underneath and pass through the fence with ease, while white birds, like snowflakes, rest against the fence.

Kangas also noted that, as in all his sculptures, the silhouettes were modeled after real people in his life. The woman with the umbrella is his Mother-in-law, and the dog is his and his wife Linda's first german shepherd. The woman holds an umbrella. representing protection from the elements, while the dog represents protection from other threats. Kangas' work often incorporates I-Beams and hard-edged steel elements that interact with twisting, curving rails. He said that usually, the rails tended to symbolize nature while the I-beams represented human structure. Their relationship in Snow Fence is remarkable, as it suggests a mutual dependence: without the rail, the slats would collapse. and without the slats the rail would keel over into the dirt.

Snow Fence was the first sculpture acquired by the Putnam Collection in 1981.

Creator

Date

1981

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Location City

Location County

Location Site

Next to the Thwing Center, the student union.

Location Street

Euclid Avenue

Creation Date

01/01/1981