bat: Enriquez takes a swing with ballpark figure
The Sentinel Tribune, Thursday, August 29, 2002 edition;
Arts And Entertainment section pg. 10
Toledo Mud Hens will mark the end of their regular season Monday
by Unveiling a new piece of art.
bronze sculpture "who's Up?" will serve as a perpetual
reminder of the connection of the joys of childhood with the national
past time, said its creator Bowling Green artist Emanuel Enriquez.
sculpture will be unveiled Monday at 1 PM on the St. Claire Street
outside of the Mud Hen's new home, Fifth Third Field.
piece which evokes the knotholes gangs of the past, kids who would
peer through the fence to watch the game for free. The inspiration
for the piece came from a variety of sources, both historical treatises
and "The Little Rascals".
said he read John Husman's "Professional Baseball in Toledo,
Ohio: before he started his design. In the book, Husman's called
the year 1927 "the high water mark in Toledo baseball's history,"
because the ream won its first national pennant. (Coincidentally,
the perennial bottom-dwellers Mud Hens are again in the pennant
contention this year.)
Enriquez decided to dress his figures in clothes of that time. He
researched the apparel at the Lucus County Public Library. "I
took that period and thought about what kids would look like then.
What came to mind was when I was younger I used to watch those Little
Rascals and it all came together."
traveled to Cooperstown, NY to visit the National Baseball Hall
of fame to do research.
of the four figures is an African-American boy, to tribute to both
the black characters in "The Little Rascals" and in a
more abstract way to the Negro Leagues.
has not until that time been aware of the Negro Leagues, but the
idea of athletes playing "amongst their own groups" resonated
Pemberville-native has played softball in a Mexican-American League.
The team he said, traveled around the region both to play "and
flirt with the girls".
artist had also played Little League as a child.
used the wooden fence, an actual wood fence that was molded and
case in bronze to tie together all four of the figures.
design, according to Marc Folk, art in public places coordinator
of the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, was one of 44 submitted
by artists as far away as Amsterdam and California.
park, which opened in April, eventually will have five works incorporated
in it. Enriquez's sculpture is the fourth to be unveiled. The arts
commission is still seeking funding to install a mural to be painted
by Toledo artist Leslie Adams.
include decorative manholes by Jim Gallucci of North Carolina and
the entryway by John Roger of Portland, Ore.
signature piece also features children "I Got It!" was
created by Frank Gaylord, of Barre, Vt. Who also designed the Korean
War Monument in Washington D.C.
called Gaylord sculpture "an asset to our collection".
artist's business manager told him it may very well be Gaylord's
last major project.
indicated no favoritism was shown toward Enriquez as a local artist.
He was chosen because of the quality of his concept."
the 15 finalists, he said, six were from Northwestern Ohio.
the pieces, "was a matter of what would fit in with the ballfield",
also had to be made of material that would weather "the dramatic
range of climates" in Toledo. "We had certain requirements
to ensure their longevity in our community."
piece also fits into a nostalgic theme, calling to mind Swayne Field,
the Mud Hens home during the 1927 season.
some contemporary artists are more interesting in the "shock"
value of their work, Enriquez says he enjoys creating work that
can be enjoyed by the general public, especially children.
work by Enriquez is on view at the Bowling Green State University
campus - where he received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees
- the Toledo Botanical Gardens and Chrysler headquarters in Auburn
Hills, Mich. His migration series of painting has been exhibited
at the Wood County Historical Society and Toledo Museum of Art,
and will be soon be hung in the Rose Gallery in Columbus.
such a universal concept," Folk said of the theme of "Who's
Up?". "It takes it back to then essence of youth."
hopes his art will evoke a simpler time for viewers.
It was designed before Sept. 11 but its message is "more pertinent
we are talking about having a baseball strike and people are talking
about attacking another country
it's a different time,"
they see the sculpture," Enriquez said of his intent, "they'll
relate baseball to their own childhood. They'll envision themselves
at a time when they were that age."