Soaring In The Clouds

Avenida Houston expands the cultural landscape of downtown at the George R. Brown Convention Center and Partnership Tower with a series of art installations. Two monumental and sculptural works, Soaring in the Clouds by Ed Wilson and Wings Over Water by Joe O'Connell + Creative Machines welcome visitors to the Avenida district and will leave a lasting impression about the city of Houston. Eleven additional works of art, all by artists who live and work in the area, have been placed throughout the buildings as part of Houston First’s “Houston Infusion” initiative. Works fabricated in a variety of media and imagined by a diverse group of artists and collaborators explore themes of space and technology, Houston’s natural flora and fauna, reuse and recycling, the city’s vibrant cultural diversity and its entrepreneurial history.

 

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Photo by
Micahl Wyckoff

JOE O'CONNELL + CREATIVE MACHINES

Title: Wings Over Water

Location: Avenida Plaza

"The connection between avian and human migration reflects our diverse population, but also the idea that people come to Houston from throughout the Americas and beyond," stated artist Joe O'Connell. Completed in 2016, Wings Over Water is a kinetic sculpture that stands 30 feet high and spans 70 feet wide. With a huge pool of water at its base, the structure includes massive wings made of stainless steel, aluminum and Stamisol fabric "feathers." The wings move in a smooth and natural motion - inviting viewers to spend a few minutes watching the mesmerizing movement of the undulating surfaces the fountain cycles through.

More About the Artist  

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Photo by
Nash Baker

ED WILSON

Title: Soaring in The Clouds

Location: GRB - Center atrium, Levels 1-3

A 67-foot mobile of bird and cloud forms made of perforated stainless steel, Soaring In the Clouds is suspended from the ceiling and dramatically lit by changing LED theater lights. More than 200 individual forms, each molded and shaped by hand using a pneumatic press designed by the artist, hang from cables on the ceiling and move with the airflow in the building. In 2015, Wilson was awarded a commission to produce a large-scale work of art as the centerpiece of the George R. Brown Convention Center’s major renovation.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

REGINALD C. ADAMS, RHONDA RADFORD-ADAMS and AMY MALKAN

Title: Creatia

Location: GRB - Charging Station Level 2, South
(Pictured: Power of the Port, created November 2004, located at 800 Clinton Drive, Houston)

Labyrinth, an ancient archetype for self-discovery, is the central theme of Adam’s  installation. Creatia pays homage to the spirit of Houston as a dynamic, multi-cultural, urban metropolis and the anchor for space exploration in the U.S. Labyrinths of various designs and patterns are layered on each other like planets orbiting across the universe. Easily viewed from within the building, the mural imagery will engage the viewer on a visceral and cerebral level.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

JOE AKER and TAMI MERRICK

Title: Skype Scape

Location: GRB - Welcome Entry, South

Skype Scape is a vibrant art installation conceived to celebrate Houston’s urban context, and economic, commercial and cultural diversity. The work promotes the George R. Brown Convention Center and Houston as a green, sustainable and livable city center with a brilliantly diversified future. A three-dimensional, geometric and photographic wall-mounted installation appears to float within a contrasting color-field background. Two sides of the forms are Houston photography emphasizing a distinct, directional color palette on either side.  The forms have intermittent inserts that rhythmically dance via the gesture of viewers walking by the installation in either direction.  A momentary pause offers a glimpse of geometric patterns.

More About Joe Aker   More about Tamie Merrick  

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

SHANE ALLBRITTON

Title: Earth and Skyline

Location: GRB - Welcome Entry Wall, North

Captured in this piece are images of Houston environments from multiple days, merging to create a singular gesture. Time-lapse techniques and digital manipulation are used to compose distinct moments that express the passage of time. At a distance the overall mural reflects a lively, vibrant impression of Houston's vertical elevations, from bayou images near the bottom, merging upwards into images of city life and nature, and further upward into the skyline. Upon closer inspection, the viewer will discover many details that give away specific locations.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

GONZO247

Title: Lifting Off, Houston

Location: GRB - L-Shaped Large Column, South

This is a tribute to Houston’s connection to the national space program.  On a deeper level, the piece speaks of Houston’s diverse fabric as a city and community.  The space shuttle represents the City of Houston. The people who live here are the thrust propelling it to new heights. The bright colors and patterns represent the diversity of the city in terms of the languages we speak, the many ethnicities of the residents and the variety of theater and the arts. There is a city beat that keeps things moving. All of these things are what make Houston a great city, a premier destination and drives all to shoot for the stars.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

LORENA MORALES

Title: Flight Plan

Location: GRB - Charging Station, Level 2, North

Flight Plan is inspired by the movement  migratory birds create when flying together in a wave pattern as observed from the ground. Likewise, Houston is a hub where the flight plans of people from different cultures, industries or professional backgrounds intersect. From there patterns of trade, commerce and human migration can be observed. This vantage point has launched Houston as the epicenter of the energy, medical and aerospace industries, and is home to many impossible achievements that span decades of innovation.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

Angelbert Metoyer with 2016 Art Students from Texas Southern University : Raheem Bellard, Derrick Brown, Miguel Miranda, Prell Pickens, Robert Riojas and Bradley Ward

Title: Formulaic Transformation

Location: GRB - Restaurant Mural Location, Hall B

For this special project, internationally recognized artist Angelbert Metoyer led a group of TSU students in the making of this mural. Recalling structures and other works of public art in the building and surrounding neighborhoods the mural pulses with energy supplied by Moondog and Sun-Ra whose rhythms were the soundtrack of its production.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

PAGE PILAND

Title: Houston's Own Tall Forest!

Location: GRB - Charging Station, Level 3, Center

Piland’s assemblage is inset with Houston area indigenous woods that are shaped, cut and painted to reflect silhouettes of the city’s iconic tall buildings and nearby San Jacinto Monument. About half of the building silhouettes are actual cut-outs of wood planks inset into the canvas surface and attached to the canvas via back wood supports. The other wood shapes are painted trompe l’oeil style in oil onto the canvas. From afar, the viewer will not be able to determine which building is constructed from actual wood or which is painted to look like wood. The Houston skyline is one of the most memorable in the world. Visitors will recognize our beautiful forest of tall buildings, which are indicative of the city’s business success, and its center of ongoing pride and optimism.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

RE:site STUDIO (Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee with Michael Gonzales of I/O Studio)

Title: Tying Time

Location: Partnership Tower, Garage Elevator Lobby, Level 1

Featured in the city seal since 1840, the train image celebrates Houston's historical role as the largest railroad center and deep-water port combined in the South. Tying Time celebrates this history through the use of railroad ties as the substrate for a mural relief. Viewed from the side, the textural grain of the ties is revealed. The artists utilized digital design techniques to carve an image into railroad ties from a parametricly generated pattern translated from a historical photograph. The work connects past and present, using modern fabrication techniques on traditional, historically utilized materials.

More about the Re:Site Studio   More about Shane Allbritton  

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

BRITT THOMAS

Title: Metallographic Cosmos

Location: GRB - Restaurant Mural Location, Hall D

Metallographic Cosmos works within the themes of space exploration and discovery, as well as the oil and gas industry that characterizes  Houston. Thomas utilized a Scanning Electron Microscope  provided by Stress Engineering Services to create this piece. The microscope allowed her to zoom in on a particle that may be no larger than the tip of a pen and enlarge it up to 100,000 times its original size. While using the microscope for her job as a metallurgical photographer, she was awestruck by how planetary a few millimeter-sized welding spatter particles looked under the microscope. She instantly thought about how amazing it would be to create a “spacescape” out of the SEM photos. Thomas printed Metallographic Cosmos on digital wallpaper, a material that is used in commercial settings and touted for its durability.

Britt Thomas Website   Stress Engineering Services  

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

BEN WOITENA

Title: The Brown is Green

Location: GRB - L-Shaped Large Column, North

While acknowledging that Houston is a petroleum capital and national financial hub, it also has 49,643 total acres of park space, allocating 12.4 acres per 1,000 residents and providing living and migration areas for wildlife and plants. Taking the significance of green spaces into consideration, Woitena selected images based on the “Brown is Green” theme, placing wildlife and plants that inhabit Houston’s extensive recreational spaces into the expansive space of the convention center on what might appear to be a large-scale old photo album.

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Photo by
Pablo Gimenez-Zapiola

PABLO GIMENEZ-ZAPIOLA

Title: Night Trees

Location: GRB - Charging Station, Level 2, Center

This artwork consists of three photographs from the project Night Trees . During Gimenez-Zapiola’s nightly walks, he usually carries a camera and photographs different characteristics of the neighborhood and surroundings. Illuminating the trees with a flashlight and isolating them from everything else revealed aspects never before realized. Perhaps night has the quality to reveal details that during the day are imperceptible.  Seeing the trees in a situation of apparent rest, almost inert and beautiful, compelled Gimenez-Zapiola to acknowledge how alive the trees are and how important it is to protect nature. These photographs are dedicated to generating awareness in the community about that importance.

More About the Artist  


 

Fountain of the Americas

Wings Over Water with FountainThe Fountain of the Americas welcomes visitors to the newly renovated "front porch" of the George R. Brown Convention Center and the Avenida Houston district. Rows of lights embedded in the plaza direct focus to the fountain. One hundred water jets dance in varying programs throughout the day, activating the area and highlighting the monumental kinetic sculpture located within the fountain.

Wings Over Water by Joe O'Connell and Creative Machines mesmerizes visitors with its graceful rise and fall of the wing-like structures. Columns of water may rise as high as 20 feet during the program. The colored LED lights in the fountain create their own show and may be programmed to coordinate with the lights on the plaza and wharf. Also unique to the fountain's design is a mysterious but gentle fog that emanates from the base of the fountain and drifts along the plaza at timed intervals.

These features celebrate the plaza and its overall theme of international migration. Houston's residents populate the most culturally diverse city in the United States. The city also has the largest medical center and second largest port in the country, along with its excellent colleges and universities, as well as premiere cultural institutions. For these reasons and more visitors come to Houston from all over the world.

The Fountain of the Americas honors the countries and territories of North, Central and South America. The names of these countries and the colors of their flags are featured on the bollards lining the plaza. Each pay tribute to the diverse cultures and peoples of the Americas.

 

Synchronicity of Color

What is also known as "Art Boxes," Synchronicity of Color is one of the most-photographed art pieces in Houston. The two-piece architectural installment of red and blue-themed aluminum boxes conceal stairwells that lead to the Avenida Central Parking Garage. More than 1,400 boxes were used to complete the piece. 

 

Synchronicity at Discovery Green

 

Margo Sawyer is a professor of art at the University of Texas at Austin, conceived and fabricated the metal boxes that have varying positions. As much as it seems like it though, guests are not allowed to climb on this art piece. 

 

Monument Au Fantome

Visible from all around Avenida Houston, this art piece's title translates to "Monument to the Phantom" in French. It is located in Discovery Green along Avenida de las Americas, and rises up with colors of red, white and blue, while its shape is a mystery. 

 

Dubuffet

 

The piece is by Jean Dubuffet, and internationally-known 20th-century French sculptor who passed away in 1985, two years after the sculpture was completed. Dubuffet was inspired by the art of outsiders, which he called "L'Art Brut." Monument Au Fantome is painted fiberglass over steel frames, and the tallest piece is 33 feet. It is part of the Hourloupe series, which has companion sculptures in New York, Chicago and Europe. 

 

Temporary Art 

Floyd Newsum
What's Your Primary (series in three panels)
Oil, acrylic and collage elements on paper
Location: Partnership Tower

Artist Floyd Newsum was recently honored when two of his works were donated to the permanent collection of The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture. Floyd has been an art professor at the University of Houston Downtown for over 35 years. His paintings are expressive and deeply personal, often incorporating family photographs, drawings, materials from his studio, and found objects embedded in the swirls of thick colorful paint. 

 What's Your Primary

 

The three works on display in the Partnership Tower delve into Newsum's concerns about climate change and man's impact on the planet. They were first exhibited in New York as part of an exhibition organized on the occasion of the United Nations Eighteenth Session of the Commission of Sustainable Development. Those interested in seeing more of his work, may visit Nicole Longnecker Gallery, where many more works will be on display through February 18, 2017. 

 

Holocaust Museum Houston
Butterfly Project
Location: North GRB skybridge - Level 3

As part of an educational program that began in 1995, Holocaust Museum Houston has gathered 1.5 million handmade butterflies from students all over the world, each representing a child lost in the Holocaust. The butterfly has become a symbol of freedom and oppression, intolerance and hatred ever since Pavel Friedman wrote his poem "The Butterfly."

HMH Butterflies

These exquisite, color butterflies were created using an array of materials and innovation. The memory of the children who died, and the lost of their talents and possibilities is felt in the grace an beauty seen in each butterfly. The project has drawn international media attention as HMH has received butterflies from every continent except Antarctica. Learn more here

 

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