Top Five: April 16, 2020. Public Art You Can See From Your Car

by Glasstire April 16, 2020

Christina Rees and Brandon Zech give you some hot tips on art you can still actually GO see.

“If you’re out driving around, you can take a swing by these and not even necessarily get out of your car to see them.”

To watch last week’s episode of Top Five, in which Christina and Brandon select the top picks from our Five-Minute Tours series, please go here.



1.True North 2020 (Multiple artists) 
Heights Boulevard, Houston

Eight new sculptures by Texas artists have been installed for this year’s True North 2020 exhibit along Heights Boulevard in the Heights neighborhood of Houston, up until December 15. The project began in 2013 when Houston’s Redbud Gallery owner Gus Kopriva, artist Chris Silkwood (a former Houston Heights Association president), and others embraced Kopriva’s vision for city-wide public art, particularly along the esplanade of Heights Boulevard.

The artists for this round of outdoor public works include Leticia Bajuyo,  Bill Davenport, Vincent Fink, Jack Gron, Joseph Havel, Jack Massing, Sherry Owens and Art Shirer (collaborating), and the late Bob “Daddy O” Wade. Of note right now: The outdoor location along Heights Boulevard invites viewers to experience the works at safe distances, considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.



2. Martin Creed: Work No. 1357 (MOTHERS)
1401 Foch Street, Fort Worth

Martin Creed: Work No. 1357 (MOTHERS) has been installed at 1401 Foch Street in the Fort Worth Cultural District for the past seven years. Referred to as “Creed’s most ambitious neon project… ,” the 23 x 47-foot work by the 2001 Turner Prize winner was installed in the plaza of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago in 2012 and remained at that site before arriving in Fort Worth in 2013. Now in a Fort Worth private collection, it will remain permanently installed at its current location.

In Creed’s own words, he explains the concept behind the scale of MOTHERS: “Mothers are always bigger than you are… it feels like mothers are the most important people in the world.”


Henry-Moore-Marta Pan-and-I.M.-Pei-At-Dallas-City-Hall-Plaza

3. Henry Moore, The Dallas Piece (1978); Marta Pan, Floating Sculpture (1979); and The Dallas City Hall building by architect I.M. Pei. 1500 Marilla St, Dallas

In 1976, the City of Dallas commissioned Henry Moore to create a sculpture to be placed in the plaza in front of Dallas City Hall. Moore had been recommended to Dallas officials by I.M. Pei, the architect of Dallas City Hall, and the Dallas Piece would be the third time Moore and Pei collaborated. In designing the sculpture, Moore felt the piece would need to be massive to complement Dallas City Hall’s structure and the wide horizontal plane of the plaza.

From Sculpture Journal, #17.1 2008, Dallas’ Raymond Nasher is quoted “In each case the work of art exists as a kind of antidote to the architecture… . The plastic forms of the Moore sculpture provide a formal counterpoint to the hard edges of the building, suggesting that the architect’s desire was not solely to create harsh forms … it says that the architect does respect humanist values and that he does seek to have them present in his work”.



4. Jim Hodges: With Liberty And Justice For All
The Contemporary Austin (Jones Center). 700 Congress Ave, Austin

The museum’s reopening also marks the unveiling of With Liberty and Justice for All (A Work in Progress), an outdoor light sculpture by New York-based artist Jim Hodges. The work, composed of seven-foot tall backlit letters, was previously installed at the Aspen Art Museum and has been reconfigured to fit The Contemporary Austin’s rooftop. The work is on long-term loan to The Contemporary and is expected to be on view for a couple of years.


Margarita-Cabrera- Árbol-de-la-Vida

Margarita Cabrera, Árbol de la Vida: Voces de la Tierra, San Antonio, Texas, Photo Courtesy of the Artist

5. Margarita Cabrera: Árbol De La Vida
Mission Espada Portal. 9942 Espada Rd, San Antonio

On May 17, 2019, Margarita Cabrera’s major new public artwork titled Árbol de la Vida: Memorias y Voces de la Tierra was officially unveiled to the public. The tree sculpture extends 80 feet in diameter, and its branches support more than seven hundred handmade clay sculptures. Each ceramic work was created by a member of the San Antonio community.

Via Talley Dunn Gallery, Dallas: “The project was commissioned by the San Antonio River Foundation, as part of a larger program of public sculpture along the Mission Reach portion of the River Walk.”


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Julie Richey April 16, 2020 - 09:56

Dallas area readers: don’t forget two outstanding mosaics in downtown Dallas that you can cruise from the car: the Miguel Covarrubias “Genesis” at the entrance of the Dallas Museum of Art, and Gyorgy Kepes’ beautiful façade mosaic at St. Jude Chapel, 1521 Main Street.

Guy Bruggeman April 16, 2020 - 11:13

You can also cruise through Dallas Love Field and see the “Spirit of Flight Fountain” by Charles Umlauf, Patrick Marold’s “Contrails” and Alexander Liberman’s “Venture”. If the weather is nice, while you practice social distancing, you can park at the Spirit of Flight Art Plaza and get up close to see “Spirit of Flight” and “Contrails.”


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