Public Art

Vertical Loop

By Ron Fondaw
Category: Sculpture


Pedestrians stroll the Pageant Walkway while overhead, atop totem poles, an artist’s palette — a ballet slipper, a book and a guitar — point downwind, each a working weather vane that corresponds to one of four arts: dance, literature, music and visual art.

It’s a larger-than-life balancing act. A soccer ball, a fanciful teapot, a chicken roosting in a basket and finally an enormous ice cream cone tower above a huge jack-o-lantern. An ancient jug and an African inspired-mask top a five-foot baseball. Shouldering a frothy mug, a giant tree stump bears the weight of an overgrown pear and a blue head with Harley-Davidson flames for hair. At night, neon light glows from within the shapes while LED lights inside each of the top pieces punctuate the dark.

This installation is titled Vertical Loop, a series of seven 33-foot-high sculptures, each composed of colorful three-dimensional fiberglass objects designed to reflect the dynamic commercial district known as the Delmar Loop.

The artist worked out his own process for engineering this large site-specific piece of art. First he carved the separate parts out of clay, next he applied a layer of special fiberglass compound over the carving to give the surface the same shape and texture as the clay form. For the third step, he used water to wash the unfired clay out of the fiberglass shell. Finally, the separate parts were assembled on their poles and painted with epoxy paint used to paint automobiles.

Courtesy of Metro Arts in Transit

Dimensions: 33′ x 5′
Year Completed: 2003
Material: Fiberglass, LEDs, steel, neon
Owner: Arts in Transit

About the artist:

Arts and cultural events are waiting around every corner throughout the St. Louis region. Explore the abundant creativity our area has to offer. From gallery shows and performances to public installations, St. Louis is rich with culture and the arts in all forms. Browse these links to experience our arts community firsthand.


Due to the ongoing financial impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional Arts Commission (RAC) has been working diligently to adjust our annual grantmaking programs to ensure alignment with RAC’s strategic priorities, and in response to feedback from the arts community.


We have gathered a variety of news, information, and other resources to sustain the health and vibrancy of our arts community.


As the leading public catalyst for arts and culture in St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission leverages the power of creativity to strengthen and enrich our community. Read our commitment to diversity, racial equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and see our strategic plan for the next five years.


Covid-19 has impacted us all. But what it hasn’t changed is RAC’s commitment to finding innovative ways to support arts programming, arts organizations, and individual artists through the pandemic, and to resuming these programs as soon as conditions allow.


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