Blogger, Writer, Urban Adventurer
It’s no longer a secret (if it ever was one), Houston is a full-fledged artists haven! We have long enjoyed checking out Houston’s art scene whether it be in one of our many museums, mural hunting, or examining the down right funky artistic features that make Houston so unique (looking at you, beer can house).
Even more exciting news—there are five new art installations you can check out now. Some of these works are only here for a few weeks, but others, we’re excited to say, will be gracing our city for good. And all of them celebrate the dynamic, creative and resilient city we call home. Read on to find out when and where you can catch these new artworks!
Now that Houston has fully embraced its status as a public art-friendly city, we are starting to see more and more traveling installations come to town. This summer, downtown has been graced with a visit from Nathan Sawaya’s “Park People” aka life-size people made of Legos. Sawaya, with the blessing of Lego itself, created six different Lego figures in various poses on park benches. Each person is comprised of 21,000 bricks in various bright colors and make art really approachable to people of all ages. The “Park People” will be at 1200 Smith Street until August 10 before moving to 2 Houston Center (909 Fannin) until August 24.
On display: Through August 24, 2018
Tip: In addition to the Lego people, the current location at 1200 Smith has some large scale chess and connect four games. There are also a few tables if you wanted to make a picnic out of your visit.
“Open House” is a celebration of Houston history set beside our bustling downtown along with the Heritage Society homes. Local artists Dan Havel and Dean Ruck relocated a small, 1940s-era home to Houston from Santa Fe, Texas, then modified the exterior of the home to create a “peek–a–boo” or “swiss cheese” effect. These peep holes let in gorgeous light and allow you to see different views of downtown and the park from inside the home. The interior walls are decoupaged with layers of old photos that were sourced from friends, family and local resale shops. The overall effect is a blending of Houston history next to the modern downtown cityscape in a futuristic art space. The kids loved climbing in and out of the holes and looking through all of the photos. We played eye-spy to find all of the astronaut photos, then continued exploring Sam Houston Park.
On display: Through February 2019
Tip: While seeing the open house itself is free, parking can be a challenge. There are a few spots at The Heritage Society lot behind the Kellum-Noble House.
The latest love for all things Texas, Houston and Downtown comes from a series of murals by Pandr Designs commissioned by Brookfield Properties. With combo of bright colors and fun text such as “Smile, y’all are in Houston,” “Made in Texas,” “Hey y’all,” and “Houston Love,” this set of six murals painted at The Shops at Houston Center are begging to be Instagramed. Since their instillation earlier this summer, the hashtag #MadeInHOU has also gained popularity. It doesn’t hurt that they are all in a row making it super easy to grab a ton of pictures pretty quickly before little kids attention spans fade out.
On display: Indefinitely
Tip: These murals are located on McKinney between Caroline and San Jacinto, which is right next to the Phoenicia Specialty Foods store. If you buy something at Phoenicia, parking is free. Our typical M.O. is to park there, get some snacks and head to Discovery Green after a quick photo pit stop in-between.
Harvey Heroes Mural
There is a brand new mural in the works in Westchase District to honor the “Harvey Heroes,” something most locals feel strongly about. The mural is scheduled to be completed in mid-August, right before the anniversary of when Harvey hit the city. It was created by Houston-based artist, Larry Crawford, and will be 100 feet by 20 feet, fittingly painted along the concrete bank of a flood control channel at the intersection of the Brays Bayou Connector Trail and the Wilcrest Connector Trail (North of Westpark Tollway from METRO Park & Ride at 11050 Harwin Dr.). The “Harvey Heroes” features a thank you note from Houston to all of the rescue teams who helped evacuate Houstonians via boat during the devastating floods Harvey left behind.
On display: Indefinitely
Tip: Getting a photo next to this mural is not recommended, but it is still worth going to check out! It is scheduled to be unveiled to the public on August 16, 2018.
While the city of Chicago might have been a bit salty about Houston getting its very own version of “The Bean,” we couldn’t have been more excited when Anish Kapoor’s “Cloud Column” sculpture was installed outside the new Glassell School of Art at MFAH. The stainless steel piece is 30 feet tall and weighs 21,000 pounds. It’s a fun spot to get creative with photos and selfies (thanks to those reflections) and is sure to be a new IG feature for the city of Houston for years to come.
On display: Indefinitely
Tip: There is tons of parking under the Glassell School of Art and the new courtyard connects with the Cullen Sculpture Garden. Park underground then enjoy a picnic among the sculptures or head over to visit Big Bamboo at MFAH.