Giant, Interactive Duct Tape Sculptures Descend on Washington Park This Weekend

Crawl through or snap photos with huge baseball-themed Duck Tape sculptures at Washington Park.

click to enlarge Giant baseball-themed Duck Tape sculptures will be on display in Washington Park May 27-30. - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY THE ART ACADEMY OF CINCINNATI
Photo: Provided by the Art Academy of Cincinnati
Giant baseball-themed Duck Tape sculptures will be on display in Washington Park May 27-30.

Visitors may find themselves in a sticky situation this weekend when 15 giant duct tape sculptures descend on Washington Park.

On view from May 27-30, these colorful life-sized creations made of Duck Tape-brand tape will pay homage to America's pastime with a baseball theme and the exhibit name Knock It Out of the Park.

Created by artists from the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), alumni and students from across the city, the works in the exhibit will travel from Cincinnati to the 17th-annual Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival held outside of Cleveland from June 16-18. (It also has a baseball theme this year.)

"Knock it out of the park is a play on words — with (a) baseball home run, 'the ball is knocked out of the park,' and with the show being in Washington Park, we wanted these sculptures to be a home run for the whole community to see," Jake Brinkmann, AAC Facilities Administrator for Student Services, tells CityBeat.

Brinkmann says artists used over 400 rolls of Duct Tape to create sculptures that are interactive and offer fun photo-ops, some you can even crawl through.

For example, viewers can sit inside Brinkmann's sculpture — "The Ball Cap" — a recreated Duck Tape baseball cap that is 10 feet in diameter. Artist Doug Reinhard made a giant baseball card so anyone can step up and pretend to be player. And artists Wally and Taylor German crafted a huge hot dog out of Duck Tape.

There's also an 8-foot-tall duck bobblehead and a Duck Tape chair that looks like a baseball glove.

Brinkmann led this year's sculptural efforts through an internship program offered at the AAC, although it is typically offered as a class.

"Next year it is planned to be a class again for AAC student to partake in," he says. "We have a group of alumni artists that were all once students who took the class in college that participate each year."

Duck Brand duct tape — available in an entire panoply of colors outside the traditional silver — has become a go-to for DIYers and crafters (there's an entire craft and decor tab on the Duck Brand website). And the AAC is no stranger to Duct Tape art.

The school's president, Joe Girandola, is known for his work in the medium. In a 2013 CityBeat story, we reviewed his exhibit Rise and Fall: Monumental Duct Tape Drawings by Joe Girandola — on display when he was the new director of the MFA in Fine Arts program at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. He began teaching Duct Tape art courses there and continued the practice when he took over the Art Academy in 2019.

Knock It Out of the Park will be on view May 27-30 at Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. The exhibit is free to view.

Watch a video of a previous AAC Duck Tape class prepare for the Avon festival below.

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