January 18, 2011

Town Center Figures - Leawood, Kansas

When passing through Leawood, most people stop in Town Center. It is the center of town for restaurants and shopping. But as you go to browse the shops and grab a wonderful
meal, you will also notice brightly colored metal sculptures. There is nothing on the sculptures to suggest their names, the artist who created them, or even what they are made of. They are just there, brightly colored like Easter eggs,

There is an artist, bright pink standing before an empty easel while holding a pallet and paint brush. Stereotypically, he is of course wearing a painters smock with a beret and a rather absurd mustache. Elsewhere, there is a bright blue sculpture of a figure holding an umbrella. The gender is ambiguous, descending the stairs in a trench coat with an open umbrella. In another part of the parking lot, there is a pink figure again, this one in motion riding a skateboard. His arms are splayed out as he balances, forming odd angles - like squares and rectangles mashed together to convey a shape that we can't really see, it is motions and angles made solid in metal.

I have scoured the internet in search of answers, even going through archives of Leawood press releases trying to find out who designed the figures or even when they were placed in Town Center. I first saw them in 2008 when I moved to the area and ended up working in Town Center in both retail and food service. I wish I could say I enjoyed my time working there - but I didn't. At all. Of course, that's a story for another time. However if you are passing through Leawood and would like some time to wander and shop, then Town Center is definitely a place to do. And the whimsical sculptures, unnamed and undefined, add both color and curiosity to the experience.

Total Travel Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
Total Travel Distance: 80 miles
Soundtrack: "Dirty King" The Cliks


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