About a year ago, the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) launched the Houston Arts Map, an interactive website that helps residents and visitors to the city discover the wealth of public art dotted across the Greater Houston area.
Featuring approximately 520 artworks, the map shows works included in the City of Houston Art Collection, which are located in public spaces and inside various libraries, police stations, airports, service centers, and other municipal buildings.
In addition to offering an image and description of the piece, along with other details, the map clearly plots the locations of individual works, which allows people to plan out their own public-art tours across the city. If you visit the site on a mobile device, the map can also show you the artworks that are closest to your current location.
The website also has readymade tours for four areas of Houston: the Downtown art tour hits highlights including works by Mel Chin and Herring Coe, along with Dean Ruck’s Big Bubble, Claes Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse, Scale X, and others; the Discovery Green/Avenida Houston tour features fan favorites like Margo Sawyer’s Synchronicity of Color and work by Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines and Ed Wilson’s new commissions for the George R. Brown Convention Center.
A third tour takes visitors along the Buffalo Bayou to view works by Donald Lipski, Henry Moore, William T. Cannady, and Jaume Plensa, and also includes Jesús Moroles’ iconic Houston Police Officer Memorial. A fourth tour highlights the art in Hermann Park, including pieces by Jim Love, Enrico Filberto Cerracchio, Hannah Stewart, and others.
John Abodeely, HAA’s CEO, told Glasstire about the future of the Houston Arts Map:
“We plan to expand the use of the Houston Arts Map with a new push marketing strategy and by soliciting other collections to populate the calendar. There’s much more we’d like to see added to truly highlight the vibrancy and rich history of art within this city.”
The Houston Arts Map is funded by the City of Houston, and HAA works as an extension of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs to manage the City’s art collection.
At the risk of sounding ungrateful, this map would be much better if it also included privately-owned public art. For example, it was impressive how it shows 7 pieces of art in Jones Hall, but weird that it ignores the gigantic Joan Miro sculpture across the street.