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Lost and Found: An Excavation Project

Hempstead (Hempstead)

Lost and Found: An Excavation Project

Ron Baron
Artwork in cast bronze by Ron Baron showing sculptures and sculptural in the seating in plaza.
“Lost and Found: An Excavation Project” (2005) by Ron Baron at LIRR Hempstead Station. Photo: Irit Baniel Studios

About the Project

From afar the tower of luggage is puzzling but get closer and you see that the luggage is cast in bronze and colored in a natural patina. The multi-faceted installation includes special cast bronze seating and memorabilia that speaks to the community's heritage and memories. Among the Long Island-related items are an edition of Newsday featuring the Islanders winning the Stanley Cup, an NBA basketball (Julius Erving was from nearby Roosevelt), a Jets football reflecting the team practices at Hofstra University, and yearbooks from Hempstead High School highlighting community events, such as Martin Luther King's address to students from the high school in 1968. Ron Baron refers to himself as a "cultural archaeologist," culling everyday objects from streets and sidewalks, thrift shops, and garage sales. He then forms monumental, "geological" constructs of his finding, which transform the old objects into something completely new. 

About the Artist

Respected artist and educator, Ron Baron holds a BA from University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the University of California-Davis. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including over 20 completed public art projects throughout the United States. Baron’s public art is site-specific and develops around themes that have strong a interrelationship with the local community, culture, and history. For his smaller sculptural works, Baron creates objects composed of an amalgamation of artifacts and, in some cases, discarded trash. These works layer and stack found materials and various artistic media to create forms that evoke ancient vessels, archeological digs, and geological strata. In recent years, Baron’s practice has focused on exploring grief and loss through clay and abandoned objects.