Artist Sculptures and Sculptural Art in Downtown Houston, Texas

Art in Houston


The City of Houston is large and spread out in all directions. As of 2013, it is the 4th largest city in the United States and its growth is only limited by the natural border of the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast. It continues to grow by leaps and bounds to the north, west and southwest and shows no immediate indications of slowing that expansion any time soon.


Art galleries abound and there is art to suit just about anyone's taste and budget.


This hub will feature some of the outdoor art that can be seen in public spaces located in the downtown regions of Houston.


These photos were taken on May 5th, the same day that my husband and I visited the George H.W. Bush Monument in Sesquicentennial Park in downtown Houston. I may add a few more images in the future.

Downtown Houston, Texas Public Art

Against a dramatic backdrop of downtown Houston can be seen a portion of the metal sculptures called 7 Wonders by Mel Chin.
Against a dramatic backdrop of downtown Houston can be seen a portion of the metal sculptures called 7 Wonders by Mel Chin. | Source

Looking up at the towering 7 Wonder sculptures.

Gazing up at the different 7 Wonder sculptures.
Gazing up at the different 7 Wonder sculptures. | Source
Source

Metal Sculptures


One of the largest art installations came into being as Sesquicentennial Park celebrating the 150th birthday of Houston was being created. It is titled the 7 Wonders and it consists of 7 seventy foot tall pillars created by artist Mel Chin who was assisted by many hundreds of Houston school children. Each of the children selected were born in 1986...the Houston Sesquicentennial date...and each child drew art representing one of the major influences making Houston the city it has become.

These drawings represent the following:

  • Philanthropy
  • Medicine
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology, and
  • Transportation

150 drawings were selected for each pillar and then using computers and laser technology, the children's drawings were transferred to metal panels and assembled onto each appropriate tower mounted on 30 foot brick bases.

They glitter in the daytime catching reflective rays of sunlight and passing clouds and at night they are illuminated from within presenting a dazzling site.

The location is on the backside of the Wortham Center which houses the famous Houston Ballet and Houston Grand Opera. Down below, Buffalo Bayou waters ripple past these abstract sculptures and city buildings.

7 Wonders by Mel Chin

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7 Wonders by Mel Chin is located at the backside of the Wortham Center and along Buffalo Bayou in Sesquicentennial Park7 Wonders by Mel Chin7 Wonders by Mel Chin7 Wonders by Mel Chin
7 Wonders by Mel Chin is located at the backside of the Wortham Center and along Buffalo Bayou in Sesquicentennial Park
7 Wonders by Mel Chin is located at the backside of the Wortham Center and along Buffalo Bayou in Sesquicentennial Park | Source
7 Wonders by Mel Chin
7 Wonders by Mel Chin | Source
7 Wonders by Mel Chin
7 Wonders by Mel Chin | Source
7 Wonders by Mel Chin
7 Wonders by Mel Chin | Source

Mel Chin explaining why he uses children's art in another one of his projects.

Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes

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Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes, 1983.  Sits in front of the Lyric Center in downtown Houston, TexasVirtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes,View from the back of Virtuoso  Sculpture by David AdickesCloseup view of the base of the back of Virtuoso  Sculpture by David Adickes
Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes, 1983.  Sits in front of the Lyric Center in downtown Houston, Texas
Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes, 1983. Sits in front of the Lyric Center in downtown Houston, Texas | Source
Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes,
Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes, | Source
View from the back of Virtuoso  Sculpture by David Adickes
View from the back of Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes | Source
Closeup view of the base of the back of Virtuoso  Sculpture by David Adickes
Closeup view of the base of the back of Virtuoso Sculpture by David Adickes | Source

Artist sculpture


David Adickes is a well known artist in Texas. He grew up in the small town of Huntsville just north of Houston and has emerged as an artist recognized nation wide for his larger than life sculptures of President's heads and more.


Anyone driving by Interstate 45 and passing by Huntsville is sure to see the imposing white 67 foot tall Sam Houston statue towering alongside the highway.


It is a sight that is sure to impress not only because of its impressive height, but also because of the likeness to that statesman who had so much importance in history.


David Adickes has created other large and interesting figures which dot the landscape here in Houston and elsewhere across the nation.


The Virtuoso sculpture is a signature piece in the theater district of downtown Houston in front of the Lyric Center.


This 36 foot tall imposing figure of a cellist making music is distinctive. At the lower back of the sculpture are accompanying musicians.


If one gets close enough to the sculpture one can hear appropriate music being piped out into the open air and played for the enjoyment of people passing by.


Inside the David Adickes museum in Huntsville, Texas...a chat with the artist.

Abstract artwork


High Plains Drifter is the title of the winner of the Allen Center national sculpture competition and it was installed in February of 1974.


The artist who created it is Peter Reginato. He is a successful artist known for his abstract steel sculptures.


It is located at 333 Clay Street in downtown Houston, Texas.

Sculpture titled High Plains Drifter by Peter Reginato

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Winner of the Allen Center National Sculpture competition, this was installed on Feb, 12, 1974.High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.
Winner of the Allen Center National Sculpture competition, this was installed on Feb, 12, 1974.
Winner of the Allen Center National Sculpture competition, this was installed on Feb, 12, 1974. | Source
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles. | Source
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles. | Source
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles.
High Plains Drifter sculpture seen from different angles. | Source

The sculpture pictured below is titled Personage and Birds and was created in 1970 by Joan Miró. It is an abstract sculpture consisting of painted bronze and stainless steel and it was installed near the JP Morgan Chase Tower in downtown Houston in 1982.

Famous artist sculptures



Certainly many people have heard of the artist Joan Miró.


His artwork graces many of the art museums around the world and are also in numerous private collections of people who can afford his prices.


He has created not only unique and eyecatching colorful sculptures but also paints and creates works of art on paper.



My husband and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, Spain during the summer Olympics back in the year 1992 where we saw a great collection of his works.

Sculpture titled Personage and Birds by Joan Miro

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Personage and Birds by Joan Miro created in 1970 and installed here in 1982.Personage and Birds by Joan Miro (other side of sculpture)
Personage and Birds by Joan Miro created in 1970 and installed here in 1982.
Personage and Birds by Joan Miro created in 1970 and installed here in 1982. | Source
Personage and Birds by Joan Miro (other side of sculpture)
Personage and Birds by Joan Miro (other side of sculpture) | Source

Wish to see more of Joan Miro's artwork?

Balls in front of the Wortham Center

There are many of these decorating the space in front of the Wortham Theater where the ballet and opera perform.
There are many of these decorating the space in front of the Wortham Theater where the ballet and opera perform. | Source

The Dancer sculpture in front of Jones Hall

The Dancer
The Dancer | Source
The Dancer
The Dancer | Source

The Dancer


This is a bronze statue which is situated in front of Jones Hall in downtown Houston.


She has out flung arms as if she is twirling around with the folds of her dress characterizing movement.


She stands at seven and a half feet tall but because she is mounted on a riser with plants below her feet, she towers over the crowds of people who gather in front of Jones Hall prior to performances of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Pops Orchestra, The Society for the Performing Arts and a myriad of other shows.


The Houston Ballet used to also perform in Jones Hall but has since moved across the street to the Wortham Center where Opera performances are held.


This sculpture was created by Italian artist Marcello Mascherini in the early 1950s and was donated to the City of Houston in 1955 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Straus.


Her lively presence graces our downtown theater area.

In Minds by Tony Cragg

This "In Minds" sculpture is pictured with Tranquility Park seen as a backdrop in downtown Houston, Texas
This "In Minds" sculpture is pictured with Tranquility Park seen as a backdrop in downtown Houston, Texas | Source

Sculpture titled In Minds


This interesting duo of sculptures is situated in front of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts where Broadway shows and others are regularly performed. It is situated at the corner of Bagby and Walker streets in downtown Houston, Texas.


The artist that created these sculptures is Tony Cragg who was born in England and currently lives in Germany. He created these large cast bronze pieces of art over a skeleton comprised of stainless steel. It must have been quite an undertaking and it took 2 years to complete. It is dated 2001 to 2002.


The taller skinnier sculpture weighs 1800 pounds and the shorter stockier one comes in at a whopping weight of 3800 pounds.


Do you see images of faces in these sculptures?


I see protruding chins, noses, foreheads and even lips as I walked around and photographed these sculptures from various sides.

Sculpture titled In Minds by Tony Cragg in Houston, Texas

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Height of sculptures shown with reference to people.Photo of the sculptures with Tranquility Park as a backdrop.Standing in front of the Hobby Center for the performing arts, these sculptures are most interesting.Closeup photo of the skinnier sculpture.  See the faces?Closeup photo of the more massive sculptureSculptures with background of the Hobby CenterA car parked in back of this sculpture helps to fill in some of it towards the bottom left.This shows the sculptures with more of the Hobby Center as a backdrop.
Height of sculptures shown with reference to people.
Height of sculptures shown with reference to people. | Source
Photo of the sculptures with Tranquility Park as a backdrop.
Photo of the sculptures with Tranquility Park as a backdrop. | Source
Standing in front of the Hobby Center for the performing arts, these sculptures are most interesting.
Standing in front of the Hobby Center for the performing arts, these sculptures are most interesting. | Source
Closeup photo of the skinnier sculpture.  See the faces?
Closeup photo of the skinnier sculpture. See the faces? | Source
Closeup photo of the more massive sculpture
Closeup photo of the more massive sculpture | Source
Sculptures with background of the Hobby Center
Sculptures with background of the Hobby Center | Source
A car parked in back of this sculpture helps to fill in some of it towards the bottom left.
A car parked in back of this sculpture helps to fill in some of it towards the bottom left. | Source
This shows the sculptures with more of the Hobby Center as a backdrop.
This shows the sculptures with more of the Hobby Center as a backdrop. | Source

Learn more about Tony Cragg here...

Public Art Spaces


In Discovery Green Park in downtown Houston the Jean Dubuffet sculpture called Monument Au Fantome which translated into English means Monument to the Phantom Sculpture as well as the Synchronicity of Color Sculptures by Margo Sawyer can be found.


Obviously there is much more to Discovery Green Park than these sculptures, but I thought they needed to be included in this hub telling about more of the sculptures in downtown Houston.

Monument Au Fantome by Jean Dubuffet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
In English Monument Au Fantome translates to Monument to the Phantom Sculpture.  Located in front of our George R. Brown Convention CenterAnother view of the Jean Dubuffet sculptureAnother view of the Jean Dubuffet sculpture
In English Monument Au Fantome translates to Monument to the Phantom Sculpture.  Located in front of our George R. Brown Convention Center
In English Monument Au Fantome translates to Monument to the Phantom Sculpture. Located in front of our George R. Brown Convention Center | Source
Another view of the Jean Dubuffet sculpture
Another view of the Jean Dubuffet sculpture | Source
Another view of the Jean Dubuffet sculpture
Another view of the Jean Dubuffet sculpture | Source

Learn more about Jean Dubuffet here...

Synchronicity of Color by Margo Sawyer

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Both of these public art pieces can be seen in Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston.Synchronicity of Color by Margo Sawyer
Both of these public art pieces can be seen in Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston.
Both of these public art pieces can be seen in Discovery Green Park in Downtown Houston. | Source
Synchronicity of Color by Margo Sawyer
Synchronicity of Color by Margo Sawyer | Source

Downtown Houston


As I was photographing examples of sculptures in downtown Houston, I could not help but marvel at the sculptural reflections of structures reflected in the glass of many of the buildings and thought that it would be fun to include some of them in this hub.


As the old saying goes..."Art is in the eye of the beholder." I definitely see art in this form. How about you?


Hope you enjoyed this look at some of the sites in downtown Houston. I'll be adding more from time to time. Kindly rate this hub and leave a comment if you enjoyed viewing these photos. Thanks!

Sculptural reflections in downtown Houston buildings

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Just look at those reflections!
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Just look at those reflections!
Just look at those reflections! | Source
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Which forms of art do you like best?

  • Sculptures
  • Paintings
  • Works on paper
  • All of the above
See results without voting

Kindly rate this hub. Thanks!

4.9 out of 5 stars from 9 ratings of Sculptural Art in Downtown Houston


To read a short bio and have access to a full library of articles by Peggy Woods, CLICK HERE.

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Comments are welcomed! 109 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

Those of us living in Houston wish the same for the Astrodome. Hopefully it will be preserved in some guise.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 3 months ago

I remember when I did the Astrodome tour. It started out with an animation display on the jumbotron. I don't know if they called it that back then. They called the show a "Texas Welcome." That was the first time I was in a Sky Box. Here's hopeing for the best for the Astrodome.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

No...no tours through the Astrodome. Would be pretty sad to see at the moment. Many of the seats have been sold to collectors. Hopefully in the next year or so I can report that it has a new purpose and will retain its place in history.


Robert Sacchi profile image

Robert Sacchi 3 months ago

I presume they don't run tours through there anymore.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Robert,

I hope that they will finally come to a decision regarding the Astrodome. It has been a derelict structure for too long a time! Fingers crossed! :)


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