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Public Art

Public Art Monday: Yinka Shonibare at Hermann Park

On Mondays, we share our favorite public art works from Houston and around the globe with you. We believe passionately in the transformative power of public art for both the individual and in communities. Check out previous Public Art Monday posts here.

This week is a very special installment of Public Art Monday, postponed by just one day, so we could bring you exciting news about public art in Houston. Many of you are likely familiar with the ongoing project, Art in the Park, undertaken by the Hermann Park Conservancy in celebration of their centennial in 2014. Art in the Park was initially conceived as a year-long celebration of Hermann Park, marked by the installation of several monumental works by leading contemporary artists. Throughout 2014 the Park saw the installation of eight works of public art, peppered throughout the 445 acres of Hermann Park. The year kicked off with a bang with the January installation of Yvonne Domenge’s Wind Waves and the community engaging build of Patrick Dougherty’s Boogie Woogie, which included thousands of volunteer hours from art- and park-lovers working alongside the artist. Installations continued throughout the Spring with the addition of six more works, one of which is a permanent installation by artist Trenton Doyle Hancock — a whimsical mural created for the Hermann Park Train Tunnel. Houston artist Sharon Engelstein’s brightly hued Dillidiidae graced the lawn at the corner of Main Street and Cambridge and artist Orly Genger’s hand-crocheted rope sculpture, Boys Cry Too, created a rainbow of color on the banks of Brays Bayou. The summer began with the installation of Louise Bourgeois monumental work, Spider, floating ever so lightly on the surface of the Jones Reflection Pool.

Today marks the continuation of the Art in the Park program, with the installation of Yinka Shonibare’s Wind Sculpture IV. This billowy, brilliant work filled the void created by the January deinstallation of Yvonne Domenge’s Wind Waves, located in the median separating the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Miller Outdoor Theater.  Wind Sculpture IV is just one work in a series by Shonibare that’s inspired by ship sails. The vibrant and geometric patterns Shonibare uses are derived from Dutch wax fabrics, and are chosen specifically to exemplify how signs of national or ethnic identity are culturally constructed. At nearly 20 feet high and 11 feet at the widest point, Wind Sculpture IV captures the movement of a billowing bolt of fabric, the ripple seemingly paused in time to display energetic and vivid patterns in full splendor.  The sculpture will remain on view at Hermann Park through February 2016.

For more information about Yinka Shonibare, visit the artist online.

To learn more about Hermann Park’s Art in the Park program, visit the Hermann Park Conservancy online.

Image: Cody Duty for the Houston Chronicle