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John Wooden sculpture awkwardly earns national attention

November 20, 2012

For months I've had "Write about the downtown John Wooden sculpture" on my blog to-do list. And for months I've put it off.

Part of the Georgia Street makeover, the sculpture intends to celebrate the great basketball coach and inspirational Hoosier legend. It may well do that. But what it also does is make Indianapolis' taste in public art seem almost as bad as Carmel's.

I might have been able to stomach the depiction of Wooden himself, down on a knee, coaching his squad. The problem comes from the five pairs of legs--and only legs--around him. Instead of leading a team of athletes, it looks like Wooden is holding forth in a Nordstrom window display warehouse. Or presiding over an early stop on the leg lamp assembly line.

My delay in commenting allowed others to take the lead. So I defer to Bill Littlefield, host of NPR's "Only a Game," who noted the sculpture while in town for a Spirit & Place event. His blog, in which he sees something very different in the piece, can be found here

Your thoughts? 

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