Tucked against the train trestle on Cooper near Central, three-acre Peabody Park is a sleeper favorite of Midtowners and their children. The park was established in the early 1900s and underwent a renovation around 2000. It contains a popular splash park, a playground, a historic pavilion… and a pair of intriguing sculptures by Memphis artist Yvonne Bobo, titled “Without Boundaries.”
Memphis Park Services commissioned the Peabody Park arch and sculpture in 2003, and Clark/Dixon Architects consulted with Bobo. Reflecting on the celestial theme of the sculptures, she says, “I chose it because it is something that all people can relate to: we all gaze at the moon, search the stars for answers, stand in awe during an eclipse, gaze at comets. The sky affects us all.”
The arch is made from a blend of mild steel and aluminum. Bobo notes, “The arch plays with and challenges the flatness of traditional ornamental iron work. The lines go beyond the frame.”
The 17-foot solar system inside the park is crafted solely of stainless steel.
Bobo also created an 85-foot glass mural inside the Raymond Skinner Center, a rec center for the disabled that’s adjacent to Peabody Park. The mural illustrates “the constellations in the Fall Sky” in keeping with the astronomical theme.
Other Bobo works around town include the butterfly tree at The Cancer Survivor’s Park and a wind sculpture at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital, but her best-known recent piece is “Gyroscopic,” a 30-foot-tall kinetic sculpture in Overton Square. Keep your eyes open as she continues to add to the Memphis art landscape!
All photos in this post by Katie Willis.