Houston to see city art installations
Houston’s art scene gets a new look this year as the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) commissions eight new art pieces that will be installed around the city for the 2009 season of The Civic Art + Design program.
The artists were selected through a stringent process to create permanent works that are relative to certain areas of the city and have been chosen from all over the country. Houston Arts Alliance will host the first part of the two-part exhibit Civic Duty: Building Art, Building Houston, as a further exploration of this collaboration, until March 6 at the space 125gallery located at 3201 Allen Parkway.
The exhibit highlights the details of the complex procedure undergone to create a new commission for a city department from nine of the contracted artists.
One of the featured artists includes art legend Donald Lipski of Philadelphia. His piece Tubbs, a pun and dedication to country music pioneer Ernest Tubb, is a fountain made up of seven claw-foot bathtubs on stainless steel stems to be installed in front of the Houston WaterWorks: Water Museum and Education Center, a new building that will open in August.
Also included in the collection is an art piece by Matthew Geller of New York City, another renowned artist who has had his work displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
His creation, an outdoor interactive sculpture called Open Channel Flow, contains a drinking water pipe, a showerhead and plumbing connections that will sit behind the Sabine Water Pump Station and will also be viewed from the Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark.
Artist Gordon Huether of Napa, Calif. contributes his work Over Houston, an arrangement of 24 conjoined, double-paned glass panels created from six aerial photographs of Houston to be showcased on the connector bridge of the Hobby Airport.
Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii of North Carolina will create Beads by veiling two Terminal E columns at George Bush Intercontinental Airport with ‘beads’ of spun steel spheres to complete the existent commission of four ‘beaded’ columns.
At the entrance of the Mounted Police/Animal Service Facility in North Houston, Houston artist Sharon Engelstein will unravel Doughty Do, a line of 38 cast aluminum carousel horses and two dogs this winter.
Houston-based Reginald Adams will produce a tiled mosaic titled Kashmere Blossoms for the Kashmere Multi-Service Center and Seattle artist Koryn Rolstad plans to produce Sheltering Arms, a piece incorporating sculpture, wall panels and themes of trees for the Northeast Multi-Service Center.
Finally, a glass-art installation designed by Minneapolis-based artists Amy Baur and Brian Boldon will adorn the inside of the Southeast Division Police Station.
Of the coming 2009 art display, Jonathon Glus, CEO of the Houston Arts Alliance, said he proposes that Houston is poised to have the country’s next great civic art program.
The space125gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about The Civic Art + Design program or the Civic Duty exhibit, visit http://www.haatx.com.