Madison Should Buy Earth Turtle Sculpture Located At Orton Park


Lovers of Mother Nature who have strolled thorough Orton Park on Madison’s isthmus have surely seen the Earth Turtle.  

The metal sculpture from artist Tim Sprengelmeyer is prominently displayed near the Spaight Street entrance, and welcomes everyone with a metallic gaze.  The turtle, made solely from recycled materials, landed at the park in late winter.  The creation was made possible with the help of the Madison Arts Commission, and Parks Division through the commission’s blink grant program.

When considering where the artwork should be placed Sprengelmeyer chose Orton for the beauty of the park, and the people who walk through it.

I chose Orton Park as the location for Earth Turtle because of the beauty of the park itself. Also Orton Park is located in a neighborhood where the majority of people there share an appreciation of artwork as well as a commitment to recycling and taking care of the environment.

There is now some talk, in the initial stages, of trying to find a way to keep the turtle in the park.  Artist Sprengelmeyer says the turtle was scheduled to be moved on June 21, but is trying to find out the level of support that exists for the city to buy the sculpture.

As a resident of the isthmus, and one who walks through the park almost daily (with James), I would strongly endorse the purchase of this amazing piece of art.  It has never failed to produce a look, a smile, and comments such as “hasn’t moved very far today.”  This sculpture blends so nicely with the surroundings of the park, and after only a few months is harmonious with those who live in the neighborhood.

Art defines us in so many ways, and this unique sculpture, located at Orton is truly special by reminding us why we appreciate the planet, and need to work for environmental ends.

Earth Turtle deserves to call Orton Park home.

Lets make it happen!

6 thoughts on “Madison Should Buy Earth Turtle Sculpture Located At Orton Park

  1. Pingback: Orton Turtle Sculpture Leaving Fast | Willy Street Blog

  2. Solly

    I would be against city money being used to keep the sculpture there. The “neighborhood” operates as a virtual gated community. No right turns off Willy (altho the only people logically making that maneuver would be a neighborhood resident), no second egress during a major reconstruction of a neighborhood street (paid for by all of the city) because the business (WSCoop) draws from the whole of the city and “we don’t want that commotion in our backyard,” an alder that separates a liquor license renewal for a nightclub in the commercial strip in the neighborhood to hassle the operators because a few residents habitually call in noise complaints, but when the city and consultants take noise measurements they fall within the ordinance or are undiscernable from a block away (apparently some tin foil hats need to be adjusted), concern about whether “outsiders” are attending the Orton Park festival, yadda, yadda, yadda. No outsiders? No outsider money! No (turtle) soup for you!! 🙂

  3. You are not aware of the facts in relation to Plan B.

    The noise test–would you be shocked to learrn–did not test for bass noise–the very noise that is at the root cause of the problem.

    This is not like moving into an area where an existing noise was being created—but after people bought homes and remodeled and invested–then have the bar come in an make noise.

    You might want to review the first minutes of ALRC and hear the strong words that were made to Plan B about the level of misleading information that has been spread about the whole issue. ALRC was not interested in the spin–and neither should you.

  4. Solly

    Actually I watched the whole hearing. The business is meeting the city ordinances. If there is a move to change those standards for everyone, giddyup. And see what kind of reaction there is to it if every business, event and 1812 overture at concert on the square is subject to them. It’s telling that the cops have been called repeatedly by a select few neighborhood cranks, and when they check it out, do not find a noise problem. Perhaps the cops are in on it. Perhaps the base sound comes from the black U.N. helicoptors. Apparently there have been several consultants looking at it, and the first one, who worked with the Goodman Center on soundproofing, said he’d never been asked to look at a situation as minor as this. The second consultant, and the city staff who have been out at all hours of the night, can’t find or measure the “problem.” Measure is the operative word. And the alder and some in the neighborhood seem quick to endorse a solution in search of the problem, costing the business $30,000 to 40,000 with no guarantee that it would fix anything. If by “spin” you refer to the business alerting customers to the fact that their license renewal has been “separated” by the alder, (an unusual and suspicous move against a business complying with the law) I don’t see how that’s out of line. The Carrie Nation contingent, supported by the alder, was the cause of the first noise problem at the location, the line waiting outside for entrance. That was because they knocked down the original capacity limit on the license. When people were waiting for entrance, they, god forbid, talked to each other and made noise. Later, the city raised the capacity, and that problem largely went away. Willy Street has decades and decades of history as a lively, diverse and rambunctious area. That shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone who moved there in the last 50 years. Much like Boystown in Chicago, people move there because they want to be a part of that, the area gets gentrified, and then the very things that made the area attractive are suppressed. By the way, the ALRC needs a damn facilitator! People moving from staff questions to debate, on and off the subject (meaning committee members), they say there are 70 people registered for Plan B, and only 1 for the Orpheum, so we’ll take that up first, and then it takes over an hour, so, it’s better to make 70 people wait, than a few. And you know you’re in trouble when Mike Verveer says, “I don’t want to repeat what’s already been said,” (and then proceeds to do so), or “I’ll be brief.”

  5. The city official from ARLC who stood on the roof, after making an unannounced visist at night, differs with you about the sound problem. The owners of Plan B are good at spin, but the statements that you made are really not accurate. You might know that part of the spin is that those against the noise are “anti-gay”—-since one of the families consists of two men and a child–makes this type of ‘logic’ on the part of Plan B just too funny. ARLC knows there is a problem, demanded that the business continue a dialouge with the neighborhood and come back to ALRC in Nov with an update. Coded in this wording was get it resolved. I think instead of all the ‘philanthropic giving’ that Plan B likes to applaud itself over, it might keep the money and make the business neighborhood friendly.

    I am sending a seperate email to you…

  6. Eric

    At dinner tonight some pics were shown of this piece of art as there is a similar effort being made locally to preserve a large eagle sculpture. Did a quick online search and can only say I trust you all did the right thing and locally funded saving the turtle.

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