The first of at least two public art projects in the Dundas Driving Park was officially unveiled, Saturday, culminating a journey that started four years ago.
Artists Sandor Manos and Les Drysdale were on hand at the Driving Park’s winter festival to dedicate their sculpture “Dundas Racing Carousel” and meet the community. Drysdale moved to Dundas during the course of the project.
“As an artist, we think about places like this, and how important they are,” Drysdale said. “We have memories of playing in this park as youth. I think of generations before, who had the forethought of setting this land aside.”
Drysdale said he also thought about the impact of technology on the way people live and communicate today – and how much more important places like Dundas Driving Park are for public gatherings and interaction.
“This park goes back to 1877,” Dundas city councillor Russ Powers said. “It’s exactly 0.25-kilometres around the track on your odometer. And in the days of one-horsepower vehicles, you took your sweetie to the Driving Park for a drive. That’s how it got the name it’s known as today.”
Public meetings and consultation with leaders in the Dundas art community began in 2009 to develop guidelines for public art proposals in the Driving Park.
Children, play and the property’s history as a horse racing track were all determined to be key themes.
Manos and Drysdale’s sculpture was one of 13 submissions, and incorporates an 1890s racing cart with a standardbred horse in full stride, with children on it.
The sculpture is located between the skating pad-bandshell and wading pool in the centre of the park.
A second public art project is still planned for the Dundas Driving Park.