Title: Portal with Door and Waves, by Jim O'Hara (1987)
Location: Reid Park (22nd Street near Country club)
Details: Commissioned by Tucson Parks and Recreation &
Tucson-Pima County Arts Council.
I realize that the sculptor calls this piece a portal, but I think of
it as a book, also. It reminds me of the passage in Alice in Wonderland
Alice finds the cake tagged "Eat me" that causes the protagonist to
shrink to a very small size when she follows the instructions. Alice is
then able to open and go through a very tiny doorway she had no hope of
entering at full height. The doorframes in this piece get smaller as
the viewer gets closer to the piece, just as the doors Alice went
through got smaller. And isn't a book also a doorway to other worlds,
when you think about it?
I like the burnished stainless steel as it glints in the sun, and as
you drive by at night the door frame is outlined in multi-colored
Overall, a pretty neat piece of sculpture, although I confess, I really
don't understand the "waves" part. The look more like snakes to me, but
that's ok. Oh, and one more thing I thought of, while there I don't
think I walked through the partially open door. Hmm. What is
the other side?
Copyright © 2004 S. Halversen. All rights