Two Austin Art in Public Places (AIPP) projects were honored this month by Americans for the Arts in its 2012 Public Art Year in Review. The two public art projects were recognized among 50 of the best new public artworks in the nation and abroad. Austin is the only city in Texas with multiple projects recognized this year.
Your Essential Magnificence by James Edward Talbot, located on South Congress Avenue, and Chris Levack’s artworks for the BMX Skatepark, Trilobite Shade and Iron Wave, were chosen for the Year in Review from among hundreds of entries from around the country. The selected projects were announced at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio earlier this month.
Talbot’s piece, a large sculpture of mosaic-clad Ferro cement, is located on the 2200 block of South Congress and was commissioned by AIPP as part of the South Congress Avenue Improvement Project. It is located on a median between two side streets, and pedestrians are encouraged to interact with it and use it as a backdrop for photos.
Hidden inside are mementos that the artist collected from iconic South Austin places, past and present, such as the Broken Spoke and the Armadillo World Headquarters. The artist’s stated goal was to make “a colorful, bold, eclectic, tactile, and ‘weird’ icon in the finest South Austin tradition.” Talbot resides in Austin, and his work can be seen online.
Levack’s pieces were commissioned by AIPP as part of Austin’s BMX Skatepark at 1213 Shoal Creek Avenue. Iron Wave is a rideable sculpture which has already become an iconic identifier of the skatepark.
Trilobite Shade is a functional shade structure which creates a “chill space” offering visitors relief from the brutal Texas sun. Both pieces pay tribute to the geological history of nearby Shoal Creek through their forms and materials used. Levack resides in Austin, and his work can also be seen online.
Austin projects have received Year in Review accolades before, most recently in 2010 for two temporary public artworks commissioned as part of the 2009 Texas Biennial, Bait Box by Buster Graybill and Giant Mushroom Forest by Bill Davenport.
The Cultural Arts Division 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. For more information, visit the division's website.
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