|Margate Park Playground|
Title: Margate Park Playground
Jim Brenner created a swarm of stainless steel butterflies, making a swirling entry archway to greet playground visitors. Deeper into the playground, Brenner positioned three giant bugs—a bee, a dragonfly, and a butterfly. These sculptures, mounted on flexible poles, float and flutter high above a blue “pond” drawn onto the parkscape by varying the color of the soft playground surface. The overlapping metal screens forming the 5-6 foot wingspans create fascinating moiré patterns against the sky and in the shadows on the ground.
In a portion of the pond set aside for very young children are Roman Villareal’s limestone sculptures of a fish, a frog, a snail, and a turtle. Perfectly proportioned for toddler play, the stone sculptures invite nestling into a quiet niche in the park.
Set into a curvilinear concrete retaining wall at the back edge of the playground is a ceramic mural created by volunteers working with Corinne Peterson. The mural colorfully depicts underwater life as imagined by the children and adults who created the design.
Ginny Sykes led a team of volunteers in the fabrication of a mosaic combining commercial ceramic tile and handmade ceramic elements. The mosaic design alternates geometric and organic shapes, wrapping around a large circular bench enclosing shade trees.
Margate Park is worth a visit for many reasons—the delight of children playing there and the restful environment and comfortable seating—encouraging adult supervision and attention to neighborhood children. The park is a strong example of how playground designers and artists can work together to create a visually rich and delightful environment when provided the opportunity by supportive municipal agencies and innovative political leaders.