“Barn Martian” by Dave Speer is located at the corner of Eighth and Main streets on the downtown Square. It was awarded Honorable Mention in this year’s Sculpture Tour.
Artist: Dave Speer
Dimensions: 38″ h x 18″ w x 12″d; 350 lbs.
Materials: Texas Cordova Cream Limestone
Interview with Sculptor Dave Speer
Q: Why did you create the piece?
A: I did a series of small sculptures, including some owls, for a mini gallery show during the WEST Austin Studio Tour back in May. A friend looked at one of them and said, “that would look good about three feet tall.” I had more or less been looking for an excuse to do a large stone piece for a while, and the Georgetown deadline of Sept 1 gave me something to work towards. I acquired the stone on July 21, and finished on Aug 29, just 3 days before the application deadline.
Q: How complicated is the transportation/assembly/installation of your piece?
A: Getting the sculpture to Georgetown was actually several days of work in the making. I had to build a wood crate to protect the sculpture for the ride. We used a gantry and chain hoist to lift the sculpture and get it crated and padded. We then had to place the assembly on a hydraulic lift table and scoot it into the bed of my truck, since we didn’t have enough clearance on the gantry to drive the truck directly under the sculpture. Everything about moving stone is slow and careful, and there can be a few surprises mixed in along the way.
Q: Where else has this piece been since you created it?
A: This is the first stop for the sculpture. I created it at Cat Quintanilla’s stone carving studio in Sunset Valley. It has been there since I finished it.
Q: What would you like the viewer to take way from the piece?
A: Art is a lot of things. Sometimes it is serious, and sometimes political. Sometimes it is functional and at other times it exists purely for enjoyment.
For me, Barn Martian is just about fun. It’s a quirky, abstract representation of an owl. The word “Barn” comes from barn owl, a species with a heart-shaped face. And the word “Martian” is a throwback to the black and white alien movies of the 60’s. If you look at it from one side, you’ll see what looks like a satellite dish or a research telescope peering off into space. So what I’m hoping the viewer takes away from this sculpture is simply a smile.
This piece is on loan to the City of Georgetown from the artist with support from the Georgetown Arts & Culture Board, and will be on exhibit through October 2018.
For more information about the City of Georgetown Sculpture Tour, visit arts.georgetown.org/art/sculpture-tour