Virtual Fountain at NorthPark Will Benefit 3 Local Charities

A rendering of Charles Long’s “Fountainhead” is displayed at NorthPark Center as the mall’s owner, Nancy Nasher, discusses the “Nasher XChange” exhibit. (Staff photo: Andrew Buckley)

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Nasher Sculpture Center is creating Dallas’ first citywide art exhibition. The latest piece announced for the “Nasher XChange” takes the museum back to its roots.

“We are returning to the place where, in fact, our collection started,” said Jeremy Strick, the director of the Nasher Sculpture Center.

When Raymond and Patsy Nasher founded NorthPark Center in 1965, they wanted to share contemporary art from their personal collection with the mall’s shoppers. Some of these pieces include Three Places by Antony Gormley and Large Leaping Hare by Barry Flanagan.

The mall’s next piece of art, Charles Long’s Fountainhead, will be unveiled Oct. 19 in the space usually occupied by Jonathan Borofsky’s Five Hammering Men.

“Charles Long has updated an ancient type of sculpture, the fountain,” Strick said during an Aug. 22 press conference. “His notion of the fountain doesn’t involve water, but virtual water. It doesn’t involve coins, but virtual coins. It’s a fully electronic fountain, and an electronic work.”

The piece of art will be an abstract shape with images of $100 bills projected on the surface, flowing in imitation of a stream. There will be three kiosks flanking Fountainhead, each designated to a certain charity. Shoppers will be able to donate with coins or credit cards. Once a donation has been made, a virtual coin will appear on a monitor, and the donor can flip it toward the head.

“One of my interests as a sculptor has been to play with the image of value and art,” Long said in a press release, “and in this work I wanted to see what a massive fountain of money issuing endlessly forth might feel like as a public spectacle.”

The three local charities that will benefit are Dallas Court Appointed Special Advocates, the North Texas Food Bank, and Bookmarks, the Dallas Public Library branch inside the mall. NorthPark spearheaded the season of giving by announcing $10,000 donations to each charity.

“It’s only appropriate that the first donation to each of these incredibly significant charities comes from NorthPark,” mall owner Nancy Nasher said. “It is therefore my great pleasure to present each charity with a check in the amount of 10,000 dollars.”

Children throw coins into the real fountain outside Dillard’s during the Aug. 22 announcement of NorthPark Center’s participation in the “Nasher XChange” exhibit. (Staff photo: Andrew Buckley)

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