Project Overview

The sculptures depict colorful friezes as walking figures in a semi-abstract manner, announcing the presence of the park’s walking trails and inviting visitors to enjoy them.

Walking the Trail

Walking the Trail is a two-sculpture series in Frayser's Denver Park designed, fabricated, and installed by Brooklyn-based artist Howard Kalish. The sculptures depict colorful friezes as walking figures in a semi-abstract manner, announcing the presence of the park's walking trails and inviting visitors to enjoy them. Each sculpture is constructed of painted flat steel and installed on a concrete base.

This project was commissioned by the City of Memphis alongside the UrbanArt Commission as part of a larger effort to renovate and reinvigorate Denver Park. In 2012, Memphis police formed a community outreach program called COP, transforming the 14 acres of land into a zero tolerance zone while working closely with the Denver Park Neighborhood Association. In late 2015, Howard Kalish was selected to contribute a site-specific art element to the newly renovated park. The sculptures were installed on Saturday, October 15th 2016.


About the Artist

Howard Kalish

"I don’t try to render form by picturing or copying natural models, but rather by following principles in making the sculpture which are analogous to the way forms are made in the universe. The “look” of the finished piece is very much determined, just as it is in nature, by how it came into being and grew, and what influences were brought to bear along the way. Just as in nature, the most important factor in determining what it will become is the overriding structural principle. Most of the sculptures I make are open: they can be seen through, and the juxtaposition of forms and colors against each other, and the background, is dynamic and ever-changing as one walks around them. In my work I explore and express in visual terms connections, many parts making a whole, — though the whole, the finished work, while complete, always conveys a sense of further possibilities."

"As a consequence my work is dramatically dependent upon the setting. The sculptures “work” in most settings, but surprisingly and differently in each case. When I work for a particular site this allows me to interact with architecture and landscape in novel and visually memorable ways."

"I have developed techniques which allow a great deal of freedom within a very solid structure. The sculptures are made of bronze, steel, stainless steel, cement, glass, urethane, or various other resins. The color is an integral part of the sculpture. The resulting works are permanent and virtually maintenance-free."