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Scott Burton Lecture Tonight

MICA and the City of Baltimore on Monday, Nov. 3 celebrate the completed restoration of Pearlstone Park

Posted 10.31.08 by MICA Media Relations

Pearlstone Park

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and the City of Baltimore on Monday, Nov. 3 celebrate the completed restoration of Pearlstone Park, a successful example of private/public partnership, with a rededication ceremony featuring Mayor Sheila Dixon, MICA President Fred Lazarus, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Paul Meecham and Richard Pearlstone with an introduction by Wanda Durden, director of the City's Department of Recreation and Parks.

The rededication ceremony takes place Monday, Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. in Pearlstone Park, located at Preston Street between Howard and Cathedral streets. Mayor Sheila Dixon, Councilman William H. Cole, MICA President Fred Lazarus, BSO President and CEO Paul Meecham and Richard Pearlstone will make remarks followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and brief performance by a BSO brass quartet. Later that evening, noted art critic Nancy Princenthal, a contributing editor to Art in America, will give a lecture about Pearlstone Park designer Scott Burton (1939-1989) at 7:30 p.m. in MICA's Falvey Hall of Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave.

Burton, a sculptor, was known for fusing sculpture, furniture, and performance into objects that could function in each of those contexts at once. He participated in the creation of a number of critically acclaimed public spaces, including parks and corporate lobbies.

In 1985, a complete park design by Burton was installed on a property adjacent to MICA's Mount Royal Station and across the street from Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. The artist's design consisted of a semi-circle of benches, light fixtures, walkways, and a landscaping plan. Burton's meticulous attention to detail is visible through the mirrored elements of adjacent buildings incorporated into the layout and design of the park. The result is an urban park that is both aesthetically tailored to its surroundings and subtly elegant. Funding to design and install the original park was provided by the Pearlstone Family Fund of Baltimore.

By 2007, the condition of the site had deteriorated significantly-plantings were overgrown and hardscape was in need of repair. MICA proposed restoring the park to Burton's original vision, with support from an endowment fund established in 1985 by the Pearlstone family to preserve the park and ongoing maintenance provided by the City of Baltimore.

"The City of Baltimore is dedicated to providing safe, clean, and green spaces for the residents to enjoy," Mayor Dixon commented. "The City is proud to partner with MICA on restoring this Baltimore City park to its original luster and, in doing so, honors the significant contributions of the Pearlstone Family in creating a City landmark."

"This was a great opportunity to partner with the City of Baltimore in the restoration of one of Baltimore's cultural treasures," noted MICA President Fred Lazarus. "I am very pleased with the results and grateful for the willingness of the City to collaborate on its restoration."

"With its beautiful new landscaping and architecture in place, it is our hope that Pearlstone Park will become the focal point of the community," said BCRP Director, Wanda S. Durden. "Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks invites those who work, attend classes or live in the community to visit this park or one of the City's other open green spaces to read a book, have a picnic or just sit back and enjoy the view."

Contractors for the restoration of Pearlstone Park are Ruppert Nurseries of Laytonsville, Md., Bishop & Associates of Baltimore, Coastal Exteriors LLC of Cockeysville, Md., and Lazarus Design Associates of Baltimore.

For more information contact Mikhael Mei Williams, Director of Media Relations, 410.225.2300 or news@mica.edu.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 61 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.