Artist Sculptures and Sculptural Art in Downtown Houston, Texas
Downtown Houston, Texas Public Art
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 article 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.
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:
- Technology, and
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.
Mel Chin explaining why he uses children's art in another one of his projects.
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.
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.
High Plains Drifter is the title of the winner of the Allen Center national sculpture competition and it was installed in February of 1974. It is located at 333 Clay Street in downtown Houston, Texas.
The artist who created it is Peter Reginato. He is a successful artist known for his abstract steel sculptures.
Sculpture titled High Plains Drifter by Peter ReginatoClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 eye catching 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.
The sculpture pictured above 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.
Wish to see more of Joan Miro's artwork?
Balls in front of the Wortham Center
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.
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, TexasClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 post telling about more of the sculptures in downtown Houston.
Monument Au Fantome by Jean Dubuffet
Synchronicity of Color by Margo SawyerClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 brief look at some of the sites in downtown Houston.
Sculptural reflections in downtown Houston buildingsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Which forms of art do you like best?
Downtown Houston, Texas
© 2013 Peggy Woods