New Gates Coming for Old Forest



New artistic gates will be erected next year at the entryways to Overton Park's Old Forest State Natural Area.

Yvonne Bobo’s “Murmuration” will lead visitors into the forest at the entrance beside the golf clubhouse. The brass structure is a movable sculpture that moves on a pivot.

Bobo's "Murmuration"
  • Bobo's "Murmuration"

Bobo said of her inspiration:
“I want to give homage to the hidden treasures that can be found in the Old Forest. This ring is designed to remind us that the forest is full of life and wonders: trees, mushrooms, wildflowers, vines, bugs, spiders, snakes, birds, frogs, butterflies, and much more. I have chosen a bold simple form to complement the complex texture and composition of the forest.”

Ben Butler’s “Growth" will greet visitors at the entrance adjacent to the East Parkway playground. The archway is built from layers of steel formed to mimic natural shapes found in the park.

Butler's "Growth"
  • Butler's "Growth"

Butler said of his inspiration:
“The portal is at once recognizable — highly evocative of familiar patterns of natural growth. The outward accumulation of layers of material mimic the growth of fungi, seashell, and a myriad of other organic forms. Most notably, they suggest the annual growth rings of trees.”

Tylur French’s “Art Nouveau” will be erected at the forest entrance between the Rainbow Lake playground and Overton Bark. The art nouveau styling was in fashion at the time of the park's founding. The gateway features bollards to control vehicle traffic and offer educational panels about the plants in the forest. Between the bollards will be a map etched in a concrete semi-circle, orienting visitors to the trail system.

French's "Art Nouveau"
  • French's "Art Nouveau"

French said of his inspiration:
“The subtle beauty of this design does not overwhelm the park visitors, nor does it diminish the powerful, quiet character of the Old Growth Forest. Visitors will feel the grandeur of the forest as they walk through the entrance. They will respect the beauty they are about to enter, they will be inspired to travel within.”

The gateways are gifts of Henry and Lynne Turley, and Bill and Becky Deupree.

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