Repainting a work, said Seaman, can be an arduous process. Enormous outdoor sculptures, some weighing in at multiple tons, would need to be removed from the lawn, trucked to a facility, stripped, and painted—with each step of the process being documented along the way. His team has to determine whether to clean off or remove the paint on the surface, whether it should be abrasively blasted off, and how the surface of the underlying material (pre-paint) should feel. Some areas may need chemical stripping.“We’re not just applying paint,” said Seaman. “We’re applying different coats of different types of primers to protect the substrate, and then to allow for a proper adhesion for a top coat.”
Sometimes, however, a certain amount of material corruption is actually integral to a sculpture. At Laumeier,
incorporated an abandoned 1929 swimming pool into a larger wood, stone, steel, and concrete structure that functions as a meeting place comprised of stairs, a raised platform, and a shaded pavilion.
The functional sculpture, Pool Complex: Orchard Valley (1983–85), hosts poetry readings, cocktails, and special events. Such use has weakened the architecture over the decades, and the park must be cognizant of safety hazards. Miss has visited Laumeier to consult on strategies for upkeep, and the discussion is ongoing. “She really feels strongly about it maintaining its natural life,” said Turkovic. The park may yet have to compromise on aesthetics to ensure visitor safety.