Components of The Age of Enlightenment: 8 ceramic columns, 4 ceramic tabletop vignettes and a plaster sarcophagus:
Gun-toting putti at the base of the column take up arms to fight “the enemy.” The angel atop the column tears apart the capital, beneath the capital a pattern of baby Jesuses are interwoven with Thanksgiving turkeys (both symbols of sacrifice.)
The Great Transformation: Santa into Moses
Horns are representative of images of Moses made during the Renaissance and Pre-renaissance. These depictions are said to be due to misinterpretation of biblical Hebrew but could also be considered a deliberate attempt to dehumanize or demonize Jews. The capital is flanked by two portraits of Moses, both reinterpretations of dour old world Santa portrait molds. One figure holds a pair of stone tablets, reminiscent of the Ten Commandments. Across the tablets is inscribed a more inclusive proclamation to “BE NICE,” a commandment free of religious dogma and a reminder of the importance of separation of church and state. On the opposite side of the column is an image of Moses shielding his eyes. This has dual meanings and can be interpreted as “see no evil” or the ritual at the twilight of the Jewish Sabbath when the candles are lit and the eyes are gently shielded.
Wishes for Peace: Conga Line Buddhas
This column is participatory. Visitors write their hopes for the future on slips of paper and insert into the slot at the top of Ho Tai’s belly. One wish per day is sent into the ether via Facebook. Ho Tai, the happy Buddha-like figure, is a grantor of wishes and patron of the poor, weak and young.
Order Steeped in Chaos
Located across from the Moses column this features a traditional Islamic pattern, which is incidentally a Star of David turned on its side. The top of the column has been damaged by conflict.
Medusa in the Garden
A melding of serpent parables from Judeo/Christian and pagan mythologies.
Multiply and Divide
The intersection of reproductive science and religion. The capital is supported by three Caryatids, female forms clutching embryonic figures. They are framed by a background of sperm fertilizing eggs in sculpted relief. The egg, however, is in the shape of a chicken egg. The base is swimming in Easter bunnies and other rabbits, playing on the metaphor of “multiplying like rabbits” and a reference to the pagan origins of the Easter bunny as symbol of fertility.
The War Prayer
Praying hands pointing heavenward at the capital for lofty or spiritual aspirations and earthward at the base reflecting earthly desires and carnal needs.
Tower of Babel
Symbolism, language and communication confuse meaning and mirror the chaos at the fall of the Tower of Babel.
An angel divines the future with the possibility of using jet-pack wings.
Seeing is Believing
A mermaid, Leprechaun and Jesus all contained within large Christmas ornaments. Objects are all idealized imagery of unseen icons. A seaman harpoons the mermaid possibly signaling the death of faith.
A female figure-turned-vessel pours from her heart to gathered angels who receive nothing.
Art from the Trenches
Luminarias made from a mold of a WWI mortar shell.
Sarcophagus – plaster molds stacked as an ancient stone wall (located at end of colonnade).