By Christine Bryant
Next time you’re at Westgate Park, make sure you look up. You may be surprised to find fairies have visited the park as well.
The westside park is one of five Columbus parks that are temporarily home to small fairy treehouses as part of a scavenger hunt called “Find Me in the Park: It’s Treemendous.” The Columbus Parks and Recreation has commissioned local artists for the project that encourages visitors to search for the fairy homes at the participating parks – Goodale, Schiller, Westgate, Whetstone and Wolfe.
Families are able to search for the imaginative homes until Sept. 20 using downloadable maps from the Columbus Parks and Recreation website, by geocaching or by picking up a map at Fifth Third bank branches.
For artist Sharon Dorsey, who created the magical fairy home for Westgate Park, it was an opportunity to return to her love of exhibiting art.
“I used to exhibit quite a bit about eight to 10 years ago, but my jobs keep me pretty busy now, so I have less time to focus on making art,” she said.
The Weinland Park resident’s favorite medium of art has mostly been painting, but she fell in love with assemblage art and mixed-media sculpture, eventually teaching herself how to use different sculpting materials and clay products.
“3-D figures really seem to have a life of their own when completed,” Dorsey said. “Since I’ve always been a figurative painter, this seemed like the next logical step – to create touchable beings that have weight and whom you can have a conversation with.”
With the rainy summer Columbus has experienced, constructing a piece of art that could withstand outdoor elements was challenging.
“I love solving artistic puzzles,” Dorsey said. “Coming up with a piece of art that
incorporates nature and weather concerns is fascinating. I’m very pleased with how my tree house has survived the massive amount of rain we received this season.”
Betty Jaynes, president of the Westgate Neighbors Association, says she is happy Westgate was chosen as one of the parks to house the project.
“We’re excited to be selected for the magical tree houses, as it gives families yet another reason to enjoy Westgate Park,” she said.
While families are there, she encourages them to check out the recently renovated pond, try out the Blue Jacket Tot Lot and visit the new “On the Winds of Change” sculpture that was recently installed in the rain garden.
For more information about Find Me in the Park, go to columbus.gov.