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Arts & Life

At New Fields, Sculptor Jake Balcom Kicks Around The Meaning Of Soccer

The Kansas City Parks & Recreation Department celebrated the opening of Soccer Village on Friday. In addition to pristine practice fields with perfect synthetic grass and a natural-grass championship field with grandstands that seat 1,500 people, there’s also a sculpture, thanks to the city’s One Percent for Art Program.

The artist, Jake Balcom, installed the work last week with help from two friends, Spencer Schubert, also a local sculptor, and musician Brent Jamison.

The sculpture, which Balcom calls "Triple Blome," is three ten-foot steel poles topped by brushed aluminum spheres in the shape of soccer balls, two of which have additional elements.

As he was conceiving the work, Balcom says, he thought about how there would be more happening at Soccer Village than it seems.

“The only thing to do out here is play soccer," Balcom says, "but as I was thinking about the project, I thought about how kids come out here for exercise, they come out here for camaraderie, parents come to socialize while their kids play. So I was trying to find a way to describe the fact that there was more under the skin than just soccer. So it's going to be kind of a progression, with one piece just plain — it’ll look like a soccer ball — and the other two will slowly evolve into a more abstract piece.”

The piece isn't quite finished, due to some last-minute complications, but should be completed by mid-week.

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