Saint Louis University

Story Woods

Visitors to the Henry Lay Sculpture Park will have the opportunity to read, play on and picnic in Story Woods, a collaboration between artists Michele vandenHeuvel and Henry Lay.

Story Woods allows guests the opportunity to experience literature and artworks as various artists interpret them in natural settings. This children's area provides a place where imagination and learning can be stimulated through visual, tactile, and spiritual encounters.

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Michele vandenHeuvel
United States

Emilie
bronze
2001

Emilie is the “Storykeeper” of “Story Woods”. She listens to the stories of the animals and people and passes them on from generation to generation. She “keeps” the stories she hears so she can tell them to future generations. She knows that children learn from those who have gone before.

Emilie is also a teacher. She has chosen this garden as a place to help children and adults learn about nature, animals, and sculpture. Emilie keeps and tells the stories she hears to remind us that humans, animals and nature are all interconnected, and that we can choose to live together in peace and harmony. One of the ways she would like us to understand this is through the beautiful art that humans create.

When you first see Emilie, she is sitting quietly, holding a turtle in her lap and another on her arm, listening to their stories. Emilie waits for people and animals to visit with her, touch her, and tell her their stories so she can remember and keep them for all time."

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Michele vandenHeuvel
United States

Emilie’s Big Book
bronze
2001

Emilie’s Big Book is a bronze, cast “open” book, which belongs to Emilie, and lies next to her. The Big Book has Emilie’s own greeting inscribed in it, for all the visitors and animals to read. She has left some items on the outside “pages” of the book for everyone to see and touch; her glasses, and her quill pen, for instance. The frog that has hopped onto the edge of a page watches the other animals that have crawled on the book as well; a fly, snail, and caterpillar. Emilie invites everyone to read her welcome in her Big Book and hopes they will love “Story Woods” as much as she!

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Michele vandenHeuvel
United States

Small Books
bronze
2001

Small Books are similar to Emilie’s Big Book, but smaller! Each book contains its own poem, or “finish the sentence” question for visitors to read and answer. The Small Books are mounted in the “Book Garden” of “Story Woods”. They are designed to encourage writing and drawing about nature by children (and adults!), by stimulating the imagination through the written word, and the use of sculpture.

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Michele vandenHeuvel
United States

Small Books
bronze
2001

Small Books are similar to Emilie’s Big Book, but smaller! Each book contains its own poem, or “finish the sentence” question for visitors to read and answer. The Small Books are mounted in the “Book Garden” of “Story Woods”. They are designed to encourage writing and drawing about nature by children (and adults!), by stimulating the imagination through the written word, and the use of sculpture.

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Michele vandenHeuvel
United States

Small Books
bronze
2001

Small Books are similar to Emilie’s Big Book, but smaller! Each book contains its own poem, or “finish the sentence” question for visitors to read and answer. The Small Books are mounted in the “Book Garden” of “Story Woods”. They are designed to encourage writing and drawing about nature by children (and adults!), by stimulating the imagination through the written word, and the use of sculpture.

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Deborah Mae Broad
United States

Success
bronze
2002

This bronze work was created during the spring and summer of 2001 in the loft of my barn in Hawley, Minnesota.

At this time in my life the concept of success is of great interest to me. In a human society success can mean many things.

Animals show an appreciation of small accomplishments which can bring much satisfaction during simple moments. Dogs are so easily pleased. They are generally looking for and creating successes for themselves every day.

The stick is a metaphor for what is most valued; something searched for, found, and treasured.

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Dam de Nogales
Edwin Dam and Veronica de Nogales

Canada

Meditations Over a Chair
bronze and steel
2002

Meditations Over a Chair in its simplicity is a work that alludes to the relationship between man and his most quotidian object. Almost an extension of his own anatomy, the chair, accompanies the search for elevated thought. It is an object of ponderance itself as much as it is a vehicle for facilitating ponderance. The book is etched with the title “The Emperor’s New Clothes” - a children’s tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The choice of using this book is highly appropriate in so far as it deals, in its subject matter, with the encountering of the unclothed “self” in all of its humility, its humor and its majesty.

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Dam de Nogales
Edwin Dam and Veronica de Nogales

Canada

Meditations Over a Chair
bronze and steel
2002

Meditations Over a Chair in its simplicity is a work that alludes to the relationship between man and his most quotidian object. Almost an extension of his own anatomy, the chair, accompanies the search for elevated thought. It is an object of ponderance itself as much as it is a vehicle for facilitating ponderance. The book is etched with the title “The Emperor’s New Clothes” - a children’s tale by Hans Christian Andersen. The choice of using this book is highly appropriate in so far as it deals, in its subject matter, with the encountering of the unclothed “self” in all of its humility, its humor and its majesty.

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Dam de Nogales
Edwin Dam and Veronica de Nogales

Canada

The Wandering Brute
bronze and steel
2001

The Wandering Brute is is inspired by the well-loved literary work of Jonathan Swift “Gulliver’s Travels.” In its essence it is a man pulling a horse on a cart, reversing the role of man and noble beast and giving rise to the intrigue and curiosity of the narrative, and to the nobility of spirit shared by man and animal alike.

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Harry C. Weber
United States

Mentor
bronze
2002

Concept: An interactive public sculpture to honor Henry Lay and his commitment to children and art.

The life sized bronze of Henry Lay (at about 40 to 50 years old) is sited on a bench in the Children’s Park. The sculpture is in a position on the bench which allows at least two children to sit alongside. He has a book on his lap which occupies his attention in such a way that the piece suggests a scene in which Henry Lay appears to be reading to an interested listener.

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Harry C. Weber
United States

Mentor
bronze
2002

Concept: An interactive public sculpture to honor Henry Lay and his commitment to children and art.

The life sized bronze of Henry Lay (at about 40 to 50 years old) is sited on a bench in the Children’s Park. The sculpture is in a position on the bench which allows at least two children to sit alongside. He has a book on his lap which occupies his attention in such a way that the piece suggests a scene in which Henry Lay appears to be reading to an interested listener.

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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