AUSTIN, TX--Art in Public Places (AIPP), a program of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department / Cultural Arts Division, is proud to announce that three projects have been selected by Americans for the Arts for its Public Art Network Year in Review. The Year in Review honored 38 outstanding public art projects created in 2015; it is the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling work in the field of public art.
Uplifted Ground by Michael Singer Studio, located at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport; Las Piñatas, a temporary installation by David Goujon; and Hello Lamp Post Austin, a special temporary commission by PAN Studio, were chosen for the Year in Review from among 260 entries from around the country. The selected projects were announced today at the Americans for the Arts 2016 Annual Convention in Boston.
Uplifted Ground by Michael Singer Studio was installed in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s new consolidated rental car facility in October 2015. The large-scale sculptural installation contains hundreds of grounded and suspended elements inspired by local geological formations, native minerals, and aerial photography. During the day, the delicate reflection of the embedded metals is accompanied by shifting geometric patterns of shadow; at night, light emerges from the elements creating a graceful dance of light along the walkway from the terminal to the rental car facility. The artwork is also an integral part of the structural design for the walkway.
Uplifted Ground by Michael Singer Studio, photo by Jeremy Green
David Goujon’s Las Piñatas was commissioned as part of the TEMPO 2015 temporary public art program, which placed 10 site-specific, temporary works in City parks and other public spaces. Three 10-foot tall piñata burros were placed in Edward Rendon Sr. Park, during the fall of 2015. Goujon, a trained architect who had never before had a public art commission, was inspired to create this work when he heard about the destruction of the Jumpolin piñata store in east Austin. He also organized Piñata Picnic, a free family-friendly event in the park to celebrate Austin’s vibrant East Side and support local piñata businesses.
Las Piñatas by David Goujon, photo by Philip Rogers
Hello Lamp Post Austin was commissioned to mark the 30th anniversary of the Art in Public Places program. This unique digital project encouraged people to interact with everyday objects - such as lamp posts, hydrants, and telephone poles - via text messages. For 10 weeks in the spring of 2015, Austin’s street furniture “woke up” and traded messages with thousands of residents and visitors. A total of 21,439 messages were exchanged during the course of the project. The goal of the project was to connect people to the built environment and each other by bringing out hidden stories of the city. The project was originally developed by PAN Studio for the Watershed Playable City Award 2013 in Bristol, England. Austin was the second city to commission Hello Lamp Post and it has since been installed in Tokyo, Bordeaux (France), and Singapore. The project was commissioned in partnership with Art Alliance Austin, and with cooperation from many local partners. It was also an official art project of SXSW 2015. More information about the project is available at www.hellolamppostaustin.com.
Hello Lamp Post Austin by PAN Studio, image courtesy PAN Studio
“These Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate that public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. Whether subtly beautiful or vibrantly jolting, a public art work has the singular ability to make citizens going about everyday business stop, think, and through the power of art appreciate a moment, no matter how brief,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”
The Public Art Network (PAN), a program of Americans for the Arts, is designed to provide services to the diverse field of public art and to develop strategies and tools to improve communities through public art. The network’s constituents are public art professionals, visual artists, design professionals, and communities and organizations planning public art projects and programs.
Austin projects have received Year in Review accolades before, most recently in 2012 for two permanent commissions: James Edward Talbot’s Your Essential Magnificence, a colorful, mosaic-clad sculpture located at South Congress Avenue & Live Oak Street, and Chris Levack’s Iron Wave and Trilobite Shade, a rideable sculpture and shade structure located at the Heath Eiland and Morgan Moss BMX Skate Park, 1213 Shoal Creek Boulevard.
City of Austin Cultural Arts Division
The Cultural Arts Division of the Economic Development Department provides leadership and management for the City’s cultural arts programs and for the development of arts and cultural industries. The Cultural Arts Division is responsible for the Cultural Arts Funding Programs, Art in Public Places Program, community-based arts development, and programs to assist the development of film and creative industries in Austin.
Founded in 1985, the Art in Public Places (AIPP) program acquires and maintains works of art for City facilities and parks through commissions, donations, and loans for the cultural enrichment of Austin’s community. By City ordinance, AIPP allocates 2% of eligible capital improvement project funding to the acquisition of site-specific public artwork.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701