The Austin Chronicle

Art in Public Places' TEMPO Program

The city of Austin gets into temporary sculpture in a big way, debuting 10 new works around town this fall

By Robert Faires, October 2, 2015, Arts

Now you see it, now you don't.

That's not a concept exclusive to magic. It's increasingly part of our public art scene. Time was, a work of art that was added to the municipal landscape was intended to endure: a bronze statue of a civic leader or marble carving by an eminent sculptor. But nowadays, art will pop up on our streets or in our parks without notice, enliven our urban space for a period of weeks or days, then vanish as suddenly as the blooms of bluebonnets. Such temporary public art has been around for years, with Fusebox Festival and Art Alliance Austin among the local leaders in commissioning it. Now, Art in Public Places, the city's public art program which has added many a permanent work of art to sites across Austin, is getting into temporary art in a big way. Its TEMPO program gives area artists a chance to play with the way Austinites experience their city by creating outdoor works that are up for just a limited time. This past spring, AIPP put out an open call for proposals for temporary art on city-owned sites, and this fall it's presenting the 10 projects it selected. The first ones debuted in late August, but most of the rest will appear in the first half of October, with two others switching sites during that time. We've mapped out what's coming online where, so you can be among the first to sample these short-term creations. For more information, visit


Earth Mother, by Yuliya Lanina
Ramsey Park, 4301 Rosedale
This 6-foot-tall female head, sculpted from recycled foam with hair that's a garden of native flowers and grasses, rises from the fields of district 10's Rosedale Park to bless visitors. Artist Yuliya Lanina dedicates it to the earth and all mothers. Through Nov. 30.


Los Balcones, by Yareth Fernandez
Bull Creek District Park, 6701 Lakewood
Three geometric forms with multiple layers mirror the limestone ledges that stand like balconies around the Bull Creek District Park Trailhead in district 10 – hence "los balcones." But Yareth Fernandez's creations of Douglas fir and plywood also serve as benches on which visitors may sit and commune with nature. Through Jan. 8.


KNOT, by George Sabra
Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez
George Sabra has turned his knack for epic sculpture toward 20 reclaimed 55-gallon oil drum barrels, compressing and attaching them to form an 11-foot-tall steel knot. It calls attention to climate change and fossil fuels as a major cause of global warming. Through Oct. 12 at this location, then Oct. 12-Nov. 7 at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 2514 Business Center Dr.


Sky Lines, by Melissa Borrell & Hanna Lupico
Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile
The Pleasant Valley Bridge underpass in Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park gets its own light show via two arrays of fiber optic cables mounted 12-15 feet high. Solar-powered motion sensors will activate some lights when viewers approach, while other lights are programmed to come on during twilight and evening hours. Through Dec. 20.


Las Piñatas, by David Goujon
Edward Rendon Sr. Park, 2101 Jesse E. Segovia
The razing of the Jumpolin piñata store inspired David Goujon to install three 10-foot- tall plywood and colored-paper piñatas in Edward Rendon Sr. Park in district 3. He says the sculptures note that "every act of creation begins as a form of destruction and every city will see the parts of itself die as it grows and expands." Through Nov. 22.


Omission, by Juan Deleon
Longhorn Shores Park, 60 S. Pleasant Valley
A collection of 10-foot diameter, white vinyl spheres are installed in various configurations at five separate sites over four months. The idea is that their placement creates a defined area out of what was open space on the landscape. One day only at this location, though it will be installed at the Manchaca Road Branch Library, 5500 Manchaca Rd., Oct. 24; and at Boggy Creek Greenbelt Park, 1114 Nile, Nov. 14 & 15.


The Public Sentiment Campaign, by Jennifer Chenoweth & Dorothy Johnson
Dove Springs Park, 5801 Ainez; Mabel Davis Park, 3427 Parker; Metz Park, 2407 Canterbury; Montopolis Park, 1200 Montopolis
People's memories and stories of regularly visited parks are evoked through brightly colored aluminum signage markers featuring collected personal quotes and whimsical "notices." Through Nov. 8 at these locations, then Nov. 9-Dec. 6 at Brentwood Park, 6710 Arroyo Seco; Beverly S. Sheffield Park, 7000 Ardath; Gustavo "Gus" Garcia Park, 1101 E. Rundberg; Quail Creek Park, 1101 Mearns Meadow Blvd.; and Dec. 7-Jan. 4 at Pickfair Park, 10904 Pickfair; Schroeter Park, 11701 Big Trail; Great Hills Park, 10801 Sierra Oaks; Riata Park, 12401 Riata Trace.


Migration, by Ethan Azarian
Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center, 2800 Webberville
A series of five 7-feet-by-7-feet murals that tell the story of this Eastside neighborhood from the 1830s to the present boom times will be mounted to the brick facade of the Rosewood-Zaragoza Neighborhood Center, located in district 1. Through Jan. 7.

Already Showing

Memorial, by Olivia Martin Moore
Convict Hill Quarry Park, 6511 Convict Hill Rd.
What appears to be a small jail cell tilted on a rock is Olivia Martin Moore's memorial to the eight convicts who died quarrying limestone for the Texas State Capitol building. Through Jan. 18.

Opening in November

Born and Bread, by Annelize Machado
The Old Bakery & Emporium, 1006 Congress
The Old Bakery & Emporium's celebration of older adults is conveyed through a short video that includes dance phrases, stories, and crafting generated in summer workshops. Nov. 14 & 21, Dec. 5 & 12, with screenings each evening at 6:15, 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, 8:15, and 8:45.

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