Sculpture Sunday: PATRONUS

Today’s sculpture is passed by tens of thousands of persons each day – and they have no idea.  It is Greer Farris’ 1983 sculpture Patronus which sits on the grounds of the John L. McClellan Memorial Veteran’s Hospital.  Though it faces I-630, it is hidden by highway berm and construction fencing.

Patronus consists of five identical forms which are placed aside each other equidistantly in a slight curve.  It was fabricated at the Arkansas Valley Steel Company and each section was trucked down separately on the back of a flatbed truck.

The simplicity of the design and the clean lines make this a powerful piece of abstract art.  Its design was inspired by battlements used in World War I, very appropriate for a veteran’s hospital.

It was installed in 1984. Since then, there has rarely been a time when the VA and/or UAMS or some other nearby entity has not been in construction mode.  The sculpture was never on a huge plot of land (which would have been more appropriate given its scale) but is now reduced to a small peninsula next to a few picnic tables in the parking lot.