SAN ANGELO, Texas — A public sculpture that has stood in San Angelo for over 40 years will get some more time before its fate is decided by San Angelo City Council.
During a presentation to San Angelo City Council on Tuesday morning, May 3, 2022, Parks and Recreation Director Carl White recommended the removal of “Ran,” a steel sculpture that was erected in San Angelo’s Civic League Park in 1979.
According to White, the sculpture has deteriorated to the point that it may become structurally unsound due to years of rust. Following the collapse of one of the sculpture’s spires in the fall of 2022, Parks and Recreation began investigating options for the sculpture’s future.
While White recommended the sculpture’s removal in order to ensure the safety of park visitors, City Council members raised concerns about removing the iconic piece of public art with no plans for a replacement.
“We need art in our parks. We need art,” said Mayor Brenda Gunter, “I hate to see this thing come down and disappear. It doesn’t make sense to me. We’ve got to have a game plan for this. Not just tear it down and throw it away.”
District 3 Council Member Harry Thomas raised concerns about the safety of leaving the sculpture in place while the City came to a decision. “I would suggest that we have a structural engineer take a look at it,” said Thomas, “I don’t want somebody to get hurt in there if a piece of that thing falls off and we, as a council, did not take the opportunity to remove it.”
City Council ultimately directed city staff to have structural engineers inspect the sculpture and report on the feasibility of reinforcing the piece of art while developing a plan for the sculpture’s eventual replacement.
“Ran,” was created in 1979 by artist John Raimondi with the assistance of students from Central and Lake View High schools.