Art in Public Places

Open Room Austin
Roberto Behar
Rosario Marquardt
artwork © 2010, Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar
photo © Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar

Sand Beach Park
Austin, TX 78701


AIPP Commission

Public Works & Transportation

AIPP commissioned artist team, Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar (of Miami, FL and collectively known as R&R Studios) to design and construct Open Room Austin, a permanent public art installation for the mound at Sand Beach Park, as part of the Pfluger Bridge Extension CIP Project.

Open Room Austin was conceived as a social sculpture, a place of encounters and stage for everyday life and stories to unfold. The artists' design is an al fresco room surrounded by trees, featuring a long table with a delicate lace tablecloth, benches, and four tree-like chandeliers. It invites visitors to have a conversation, a moment of repose, or to wait for a friend in a space reminiscent of home. Appearing at once real and fantastic, familiar and unprecendented, a slice of domesticity in a public park - the installation is intended to dissolve boundaries between fiction and reality and limits between art and life, suggesting a sense of personal ownership to everyone involved with the event.

This piece does not require reservations to be used. It is first-come, first-served, and designed to encourage shared community experience. Please abide by existing Parks Department rules and regulations for parkland spaces.

The Pfluger Bridge Extension Project was approved by City Council on February 2, 2006 as part of a series of projects to significantly alter the downtown area near the intersection of Lamar Blvd. and Cesar Chavez. In this area commonly known as the Seaholm District, a realignment of roads allowed an extension of the James D. Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge and parkland improvements on the Sand Beach Reserve. Improvements include an underpass and pathways to enhance the safety and flow of pedestrian and bicycle traffic. This project was funded in part by Gables Residential.

More information about the Pfluger Bridge Extension Project

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Art in Public Places
Cultural Arts Division
Economic Growth & Redevelopment Services
201 E. Second Street
Austin, TX 78701
tel. 512-974-7700
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