Art

 

Public Art at Avenida Houston enhances the cultural landscape of Downtown Houston. Works by artists who live and work in the area have been placed throughout the district as part of Houston First Corporation’s “Houston Infusion” initiative. Visitors and residents learn more about Houston when encountering these colorful, vibrant and authentic stories.  

Complimenting the impressive international collection in Discovery Green, these works imagined by a diverse group of artists explore themes of space and technology, Houston’s natural flora and fauna, reuse and recycling, the city’s vibrant cultural communities and its entrepreneurial history.

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Photo by
Micahl Wyckoff

Wings Over Water

Artist: JOE O'CONNELL and CREATIVE MACHINES

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.

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Photo by
Nash Baker

Soaring in The Clouds

Artist: ED WILSON

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

Creatia

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

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

Skype Scape

Artist: JOE AKER and TAMI MERRICK

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

Earth and Skyline

Artist: SHANE ALLBRITTON

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

Lifting Off, Houston

Artist: GONZO247

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

Flight Plan

Artist: LORENA MORALES

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

Formulaic Transformation

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

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

Houston's Own Tall Forest

Artist: PAGE PILAND

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

Tying Time

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

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 parametrically 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

Metallographic Cosmos

Artist: BRITT THOMAS

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

The Brown is Green

Artist: BEN WOITENA

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

Night Trees

Artist: PABLO GIMENEZ-ZAPIOLA

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.

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Earth From Space

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Apollo Redux

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HOUSTON

Artist: Gonzo247

Location: Partnership Tower [2nd Level Escalator Lobby near Sky Bridge]

HOUSTON brings the tradition of graffiti and street art, found throughout downtown, within the walls of Partnership Tower. In this work, Gonzo portrays the city of Houston as a vortex of motion and vibrancy. The erect towers that make up a skyline, now surge in accordance with arrows, and manifold streams whizzing around the cube. Through the transparent background, light fuels the energetic palette and viewers catch glimpses of a shining and thriving city. All of these things are what make Houston a great city, a premier destination that drives all to shoot for the stars. - Gonzo247

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Power of Houston

Artists: Cynthia England, Libby Lehman and Vicki Mangum

Location: GRB Convention Center [2nd Level north near skybridge]

Cynthia England, Libby Lehman and Vicki Mangum created this nighttime depiction of the Houston skyline. Quilts, Inc. commissioned these Houston artists in celebration of the 1999 show titled, "The Quilt Show of the Century." They donated the art work to the City of Houston in 2004, the 30th anniversary of the founding of the International Quilt Festival, the largest annual quilt show in the United States that takes place in the George R. Brown Convention Center and regularly attracts over 55,000 people from over 35 countries. Their inspiration came from a photograph that captured the iconic event Power of Houston Laser, Light and Fireworks Spectacular. The 1999 show required 10-tons of pyrotechnics, 400 optical watts of laser, and 2 million watts of light apparent across 144 city blocks.

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Greetings from Houston

Artist: Daniel Anguilu

Location: Welcome Center inside the George R. Brown Convention Center [1st Level near Hall D]

Daniel Anguilu started painting graffiti at an early age. Mostly using freight trains and walls as his canvases, his art is increasingly visible around his hometown of Houston, Texas. Anguilu’s style is deeply inspired by his Mexican heritage and mostly manifests itself as large scale, aerosol murals. Anguilu strongly believes in freedom of expression and the need to use this expression to decorate public spaces. - Courtesy of openthedoor-houston.com Anguilu is also the curator for the Harrisburg Art Museum (The H.A.M.) an ever-changing art covered warehouse in Houston’s East End, which showcases a wide range of murals, graffiti and street art.

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Photo by
Photo by Alexandre Ayer

Temporary Art: LOOP (Closed Jan. 6th)

Avenida Houston welcomes LOOP, a cross between a music box, a zoetrope and a railway handcar. The retro-futuristic machine, more than two meters in diameter, creates animated fairy-tale loops. Through the combined efforts of members of the public working the hand lever, the image cylinder lights up and creates the illusion of motion in the drawings. The black and white images, tinted through a strobe effect, recall the earliest movies and are visible inside the cylinder as well as outside it, so that they can be watched from close up or far away. The speed at which the images fly by, the frequency at which the light flickers and the rhythm of the audio composition are all directly related to the pace set by the participants, who can be of any age.

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Temporary Art: IMPULSE (Closed Sept. 2nd)

Artist: Montreal-based Lateral Office and CS Design

Producer: Quartier des Spectacles Partnership

Avenida Houston welcomes IMPULSE, a luminescent installation featuring a series of twelve interactive seesaws that respond through light and sound when set into motion. An exhibit that allows the audience to determine their experience, IMPULSE creates a unique dynamic where participants are granted the opportunity to become the musicians and artists.


Artworks in the GRB

Visitors to the George R. Brown Convention Center will experience a variety of local and international artworks across the 1.85 million gross square feet space.

Temporary Art Installations

Apollo Redux, Earth from Space, and Destination Moon are three exhibits currently occupying the GRB that exist as part of a series of collaborative programs in Houston with the Smithsonian Institution in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

 


Other Points of Interest

Mini Murals in Avenida Houston

In partnership with Up Art Studios, Houston First Corporation sponsored the creation of nine Mini Murals, a project to enhance urban landscapes in Houston. These murals, located along Avenida de las Americas and Discovery Green, were hand painted on City of Houston utility boxes by Houston area artists. For the selection process, a small committee of artists and cultural administrators picked murals from numerous proposals, in which artists submitted ideas exploring such themes as local flora and fauna, space, medicine, comics, quilts, robotics and the Americas. The selected artists to produce the murals were: Meenr One, Pilot FX, Jessica Rice, Anat Ronen, Roger Sweard and w3r3on3.  For details on Mini Murals, including artist backgrounds, images and locations, visit minimurals.org

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