Art City

9 new pieces of public art pop up in Austin — for a limited time


Barriscope/Megha Vaidya and Jesus Valdez
Photo by Philip Rogers
Tubascopes/Steve Parker
Photo by Philip Rogers
Double Arch/Emily Hoyt-Weber
Photo by Philip Rogers
The Aviary/Ian Dippo
Photo by Philip Rogers
ForgottenLandscapes/Ha Na Lee and James Hughes
Photo by Philip Rogers
Maya/Reynaldo Alaniz
Photo by Philip Rogers
A Composition in Parts/R. Eric McMaster
Photo by Philip Rogers
Era Gate/George Sabra
Photo by Philip Rogers
Humble/Dameon Lester
Photo by Philip Rogers

A new temporary exhibit is on display all over the city, as part of Austin’s Art in Public Places (AIPP) initiative. Celebrating its fifth year, TEMPO features outdoor art by nine local artists in a public exhibition on view through November 19.

The goal of the City’s Art in Public Places Program is to commission art projects to advance the public’s understanding of visual art and enhance the aesthetic quality of public places. 

This year’s installations utilize a wide range of materials and reflect the varying styles and interests of the selected artists. With nine thought-provoking installations scattered in parks and libraries around Austin, TEMPO is truly an initiative that caters to the entire community.

“The TEMPO program has introduced public art to many Austinites and visitors and has highlighted the numerous ways it can enhance enjoyment of public spaces and encourage civic dialogue,” remarks Meghan Wells, manager of the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division. “The works this year emphasize the abundance of creative talent in Austin and reflect the City’s diverse spirit and perspectives.”

The works will be on display in their respective locations until November 11, when they will come together as part of the East Austin Studio Tour. The collective presentation, TEMPO Convergence, will be displayed at Edward Rendon Sr. Park from November 11-19.

Until then, we’ve provided a quick guide to each piece. Art lovers can take a self-guided tour with the ArtRides Mobile app, which provides suggested routes and audio of the artists describing their works at each stop.

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Barriscope, Austin Megha Vaidya and Jesus Valudez
This collaborative sculpture invites viewers to question their perspective on security versus connection: 8-foot-tall “periscople modules” are mounted in a subtle curve at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, creating a wall that offers distorted glimpses beyond.

 

Tubascopes, Steve Parker
Right in the heart of downtown at the Austin Nature and Science Center, Tubascopes is a whimsical assemblage of reclaimed brass instruments that function like telescopes for the ears.

Double Arch, Emily Hoyt-Weber
Containing a variety of butterfly-attracting plants, Weber’s pale blue sculpture appears to hover above Brentwood Park’s octagonal-shaped planting bed.

The Aviary, Ian Dippo
This sculpture made of birdhouses is situated next to the colorful mural at the Carver Branch Library. The work invites encounters between neighbors by encouraging a connection between people via letter writing and paper folding.

Forgotten Landscapes, Ha Na Lee and James Hughes
Modeled after Thomas Edison’s kinetoscopes, a precursor to the motion-picture film projector, these three sculptures are positioned in Bartholomew Park. Looking through the peepholes, viewers can see the last-known locations of missing persons in a video of Austin landscapes.

Maya, Reynaldo Alaniz
Inspired by a popular symbol from early Mayan art called chacmool, this hand-carved limestone installation hopes to encourage interaction between the abstract figure and families visiting and playing in Ramsey Park.

A Composition in Parts, R. Eric McMaster
An interactive sound installation, A Composition in Parts invites visitors to experience a deconstructed string quartet in Northwest Austin’s Schroeter Park. The complete composition can be heard at the park’s center.

Era Gate, George Sabra
At the Pleasant Hill Branch Library, George Sabra’s piece examines the effects of air pollution in the U.S. with welded reclaimed oil barrels arranged in a captivating shape. Inspired by a recent international study, numbers on the barrels symbolize the 6.5 million pollution-related deaths each year.

Humble/B-15 (Oil + Ice), Dameon Lester
The tri-colored abstract form at Manchaca Road Branch Library references the Texas oil industry and glaciers melting due to climate change. Lester named his installation after B-15, an iceberg nearly the size of Connecticut, which broke from Antarctica in 2000.

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As part of the East Austin Studio Tour, TEMPO Convergence will offer guided tours on November 11, 17, and 19. A complete list of public events is available here.

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