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Artist describes ideas at play in Flossmoor’s latest sculpture installation

Sculptor Ed McCullough took the Flossmoor Public Art Commission members and guests on an aesthetic journey on Saturday as he described the ideas and inspirations for his work. His metal sculpture, Crossing #5 was dedicated as the newest piece in Flossmoor’s sculpture garden.

  Sculptor Ed McCullough gestures toward a maquette 
  of one of his pieces as he discusses his ideas about 
  edges, shapes and negative space. McCullough’s 
  Crossing #5 was dedicated on Saturday as the latest 
  addition to Flossmoor’s sculpture garden.
(Photos by 
  Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Visitors who walk 360 degrees around Flossmoor’s newest sculpture, Crossing #5, may see 360 different sculptures as the lines created by the structure shift and seem to move.

Artist Ed McCullough, creator of the work, spoke at the dedication of the sculpture Saturday afternoon at Park Place on the southwest side of Flossmoor Park to explain how he achieves that effect.

With Crossing #5 just outside, McCullough told an appreciative audience about his passion for edges ― their energy and mystery ― and the way they create negative space.

“I’m really interested in what isn’t there,” he said, noting edges “don’t seem to stay put.”

McCullough took the group on a journey of aesthetic discovery, starting with the moment he believes his artistic spark was first awakened. As a child, his mother and aunt took him to a department store at 63rd and Halsted streets in Chicago; there he encountered the magic of Venetian blinds.

“Now you see it, now you don’t,” he said, as he imitated the act of reversing the direction of the window covering slats.

The aesthetic effect of those moving edges is one that remains with him to this day.

“I was stunned. I still am,” he said.

McCullough, 82, also traced the ideas and artists who inspired him throughout his long career, especially French post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne.

Flossmoor Public Art Commission member Charlene Gordon thanked McCullough for sharing his ideas.

“Few artists are able to communicate the way you do,” she said. “I think we’ve all learned a lot.”

The event was hosted by the Flossmoor Public Art Commission, with commission Chairman Richard Bumstead serving as master of ceremonies.

He introduced village trustee Diane Williams, who conveyed greetings from Mayor Paul Braun and welcomed McCullough. She thanked members of the commission ― Bumstead, Gordon, Michael Cheney, Jeff Stevenson, Sharon Lorsch, Nancy Burrows and Kyrin Hobson ― for arranging to have Crossing #5 loaned to Flossmoor for three years.

Williams also led a round of applause for the owners of the piece, Les and Jo Seggebruch, who attended the dedication.

She lauded the village’s commitment to art ― from school programs nurturing young artists to the commission’s work that keeps art visible in the community.

“It’s wonderful to be able to drive through or walk through the town and see one of these sculptures,” she said. “It makes you smile. It makes you realize there is beauty around you no matter what else is going on in that day.”

Related stories:

  Charlene Gordon, an artist and member of the 
  Flossmoor Public Art Commission, responds to 
  sculptor Ed McCullough’s talk on Saturday. Her 
  husband, Murray, right, also told how the 
  Gordon’s had once hosted one of McCullough’s 
  sculptures on their property for about a year.


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