What Do Mark Twain, Henry Moore, Bunker Hill, and General Sam Houston Have in Common? They’re all part of the Houston Arts Foundation’s Adopt-A-Monument Program, which recruits Houston area students to help maintain public artworks.
The adoption process includes field trips to their school’s adopted artwork, and discussions with art experts about the importance of preservation, and the massaging of corporate partners who supplement the school’s fundraising efforts. For example, in 2012, Bunker Hill Elementary in Spring Branch ISD is partnering with Amegy Bank and Ty-Art to adopt the Sam Houston Equestrian Statue in Hermann Park for the sixteenth year.
But the path to adoption is not always so easy. Unprepossessing, little known pieces of municipal art like the Charlotte Baldwin Fountain in Baldwin Park, or Frank Mcguire’s Axis (1978), need love too: “There are nearly 400 pieces of public art available for adoption,” said HAF Chair Sally Reynolds (mother of Glasstire founder Rainey Knudson). Many are on view at the Municipal Art Collection website, which now features an art locator by zipcode link!