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OSU Professor Wins Project
Malcolm Cochran's art proposal selected for Goodale Park pond

February 2005
by Cindy Bent Findlay

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The verdict is in: hometown artist Malcolm Cochran was selected as the creator of the new water feature for the pond in Goodale Park.

Cochran, a sculpture professor in Ohio State University’s art department, emerged as the winner of a national competition reported on in the September issue of the Gazette, held by the Friends of Goodale Park in conjunction with BrickStreet Arts Association. Fifty-four artists from around the country and from as far afield as China submitted proposals to the competition.

The judging combined input from the neighborhood in the form of about 800 public votes, with the final selection made by a panel of nine community and arts-associated jurists.

Cochran’s winning entry, Tete-à-Tete Falls, will be a pair of linked waterfalls that mimic the Victorian furniture of the same name, a settee of two cozy seats linked together in the middle so that each seated person faced the other for conversation.

One side of the granite form will be a U-shaped falls; the other, a set of granite stepping stones rounded in a beehive shape over which water will cascade elegantly. It will also bring to mind the rock cairn that once sat in the pond, says Stan Sells, president of the Friends of Goodale Park.

“The design marries the arts emphasis of the Short North as well as some elements of Victoriana, with the tete-a-tete concept,” Sells adds.

Tete-à-Tete Falls will be introduced to the park some time in 2006. But first, the Friends of Goodale Park must raise $140,000 for the installation’s construction.

“I hope to create something that feels like an integral part of the park, is contemporary – not pretending to be an antique element – and that also fits, is memorable, and brings back an exciting year-round feature,” says Cochran.

“There is no primary view in the park of that pond; it’s not like Versailles where there is one long pond or a mall, a key view you have to get to,” Cochran says. “This is much more curvilinear, with a wind-around path, so I wanted make something exciting visually from any perspective.”

Sells says Cochran’s proposal best satisfied all of the criteria. It is designed to operate in all four seasons, and will create unique ice formations in the winter.

The waterfall will also circulate a tremendous amount of water – 2,300 gallons per minute – that will help aerate the pond and put a damper on the frequent algae blooms that have plagued the pond in recent years.

This is far from Cochran’s first piece of public art. He’s created large-scale pieces which have traveled around the world for the Columbus Museum of Art’s “Illusions of Eden: Visions of the American Heartland” show; and for parks and gardens in Brattleboro, Vermont, Cleveland, New York City’s Hudson River Park, and other locations.

Cochran, who received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., has also been commissioned to create a work for the north reflecting pool at the new Ohio State Supreme Court building on Front Street.

See Also Circus elephants inspire artist Malcolm Cochran's new design for Goodale Park Fountain (March 2010 Issue)

For updates, visit the Friends of Goodale Park Web site at

© 2010 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.

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