Discovery Green Launches Mentorship Program

by Jessica Fuentes June 10, 2024

Discovery Green, a 12-acre park in downtown Houston, has launched Art Lab, a mentorship program to support underrepresented local artists.

An aerial photograph of Discovery Green in Houston.

Discovery Green

Opened in April 2008, the urban park is a public-private partnership between the City of Houston and the nonprofit organization Discovery Green Conservancy. The park has an array of activities and features such as the John P. McGovern Playground, Kinder Lake, dog runs, bocce courts, shuffleboard courts, gardens, and art installations. Its public art program includes both permanent and temporary works by artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Jim Dine, Margo Sawyer, and Doug Hollis. Since opening, it has hosted hundreds of events and seen over 20 million visitors.

The Art Lab program will select two artists to participate in an apprenticeship and practicum, working with a team of mentors that includes the Weingarten Art Group, who are co-curators and co-administrators for the Discovery Green public art program; Metalab, a Houston-based architecture and design firm with a history of working on public art; and Jen Lewin, a renowned Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in large-scale public installations. 

Together, the artists will work with Ms. Lewin on a site-specific sculpture that will be installed at the park during the 2024/2025 winter season. During the mentorship, program participants will receive a $4,500 honorarium. At the culmination of the program, selected artists will be invited to submit proposals for a potential temporary pop-up installation at Discovery Green. 

In a press release Kathryn Lott, Discovery Green Conservancy President, said, “Public art has been at the heart of Discovery Green since its inception 16 years ago, and the park has grown into an open-air gallery with a world-class permanent collection and remarkable temporary installations that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Our goal with Art Lab is to keep connecting Houstonians and visitors to inspiring and thought-provoking works while creating opportunities for the incredibly talented artists in our own backyard.” 

Lea Weingarten, principal for Weingarten Art Group, added, “Discovery Green continues to show leadership well beyond its park realm by recognizing the barriers for local artists to develop the skills needed to produce large-scale, interactive works, and [addressing] a lack of cultural diversity in America’s public art space. We are proud to be a partner in fostering innovation and creating national exposure opportunities for Houston talent.” 

Artists, architects, and designers living within a 75-mile radius of central Houston are invited to submit an application to participate in Art Lab. The application deadline is Sunday, July 14, 2024. Selected artists will be announced in August and the Art Lab program will run from September 2024 through January 2025. Learn more about Art Lab and apply via the Discovery Green website.

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