BeholdtheArchofExperience

The exotic front-yard garden of Eric Cooper at 2112 Pine St. has always been a delight to the neighborhood.

It is crisscrossed with fronds of banana and palm trees, and with ginger, bird of paradise, and other tropical plants.

Geraniums, impatiens, and assorted colorful blooms resting amid lava rocks carpet an area that once was a driveway.

Bonsai trees line one fence. Totems and primitive faces painted on panels by Cooper’s housemate, Hope Lane, adorn other fences and the front of the rust-colored wood-frame house.

But for the past few months, neighbors and passersby have been treated to an especially inviting display: a temple-like sculpture, called “Arch of Experience”, that was designed and created by one of Cooper and Lane’s artist friends, John Pearson.

Six parallel columns made of richly textured pressed wood, rise 9 feet to sup-port a clear-bottomed, 8-by-8-foot basin of trickling water. When standing on the Oriental rug that covers the sod floor of the structure, viewers can look up and see the sky and trees through the water overhead.

“I just turned 27 and wanted to do a monumental work showing that I’m choosing to be a professional artist,” said Pearson, who trained in art history and design at California University. “Hope and Eric know how hard it is to exhibit something like this, so they invited me to show it here. I call it ‘Arch of Experience’ because I want to share my ability to enjoy the world around me.”

A sign on the gate and another near the sculpture bear a quote from Homer’s Odyssey that holds particular meaning for Pearson.