As some of you may be aware, hurricane season is upon us in South Florida and we are readying our sculpture garden for the possibility of storms. To start, we are taking down the hanging sculpture Celestial Presence by Dorothy Gillespie. Although the individual pieces are made of sturdy aluminum and can be bent easily back into shape if a strong wind hit them, they are strung up next to the windows with fishing line which could create any number of problems with tangling or colliding with the glass.
Dorothy Gillespie, Celestial Presence, 2007, polychrome painted and shaped-cut aluminum, 25 x 20 x 12 feet. Permanent Collection 2007.20. Gift of the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation, Inc.
How do we safely store these works of art? First, the fishing line that is strung horizontally between the hanging columns of sculptural elements is cut. The placement of the horizontal fishing line is needed so that the individual pieces hang in straight columns and do not get tangled with one another.
After that, the Facilities staff, Robin Archible and John Finewood, take down one hanging column of the shaped aluminum pieces at a time and wrap each piece separately. John is raised up in the boom lift and slowly lowers the line so that Archie can receive and wrap each piece in bubble wrap. They are then placed in large storage crates to await reinstallation in the fall. It takes about three days to complete the process.
John releasing the line.
John lowering the sculpture to Archie, waiting with roll of bubble wrap.
Final product: wrapped pieces ready for storage.
Once a hurricane warning is announced for the Boca Raton area, we take additional measures to ensure the safety of the sculptures in the garden. Depending on how the season shapes up, you may see more entries dedicated to hurricane preparedness but we will keep our fingers crossed that you won't!