Anna Bradley

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

As part of a city project meant to highlight artists’ work and enhance Austinites’ visits to public parks, several artists are installing temporary art pieces to display in public parks in the Austin area.

Anna Bradley, Art in Public Places coordinator, oversees the temporary Art in Public Places project, known as TEMPO. She said the project is one of the first temporary art programs in the country. 

“We’ve gotten a really great response from the public, and people are really excited,” Bradley said. “A lot of neighborhood groups really enjoy the pieces.”

Artist Lindsay Palmer created “Dazzle House,” which will be installed near her residence in the Rosewood Park area later this month.

According to Palmer, the zebra-like camouflage she uses in her piece was painted on World War I boats to visually distract viewers and make it difficult for them to distinguish where the boat began and ended. Palmer used the concept to comment on gentrification, a process in which higher property values decrease affordability for lower-income residents.

“I am trying to camouflage the kind of smaller, older homes that are being torn down and replaced with new geometric McMansions,” Palmer said. “There is a personal connection for me with the site, and there is also a connection with the theme of gentrification and the fact that the Rosewood Park area is the most rapidly gentrifying area in Austin and probably in the country.”

TEMPO is funded by a 2 percent portion of eligible capital improvement project budgets that are specifically set aside for public art, Bradley said. She said TEMPO has been allotted $75,000 yearly for two years beginning in November 2013.

Amy Scofield’s “Treevolution” in South Austin Park consists of three trees made of recycled orange trash fencing and industrial PVC pipe. Scofield said “Treevolution” is about reusing materials to convey a message of ecological preservation.

“If we don’t preserve nature for the future, then we will only have plastic trees,” Scofield said.

Scofield thinks college students are often too focused on working hard and planning their futures to think about issues out of their control.

“Young people have more passion and ability to hope for a better future,” Scofield said. “I think that this piece is a fun, whimsical way to explore a dark idea — a dark theme of loss.”

Brent Baggett said he hopes visitors of his sculpture “Tree Hugger,” which is an abstracted leaf form, will use the site as a place for relaxation.

By constructing a small opening in the center of the piece that viewers can look through, Baggett said he hopes viewers will investigate the piece more closely.

Palmer said the interactivity and diversity of materials in the TEMPO artwork may especially appeal to younger audiences. 

“[The projects] certainly speak more to contemporary art than do the bronze and marble statues that [students] may see on campus and on campuses around the country,” Palmer said. “Public art can and should be edgier, brighter and more diverse.”

Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo | Daily Texan Staff

November marks the beginning of the Temporary Public Art program, a new initiative which will make public art accessible in Austin’s outlying communities.

The program is part of the city’s larger Art in Public Places program, which mandates that 2 percent of certain capital improvement project budgets must be set aside for art on the project site. 

Anna Bradley, the Art in Public Places coordinator, said the goal of the project is to provide artists a creative platform within their local communities.

Bradley said the works in the project are installed in communities not typically known for their art scene. The project will increase Austinites’ interactions with the works while artists gain more experience creating exterior art, Bradley said.

“We specifically stayed out of downtown Austin,” Bradley said. “We really concentrated on bringing temporary public art to the outlying parts of Austin.” 

Architects Mason Leland Moore and Joel Nolan designed “Space Camp,” an art piece that will be installed Saturday. Moore said the piece provided a creative opportunity because, while his usual pieces take long periods to develop, this piece was conceived and designed to be installed quickly.

“This [project] is a pure art sort of exploration,” Moore said. “We sort of use it as an outlet and an alternative to the rigors of the profession which usually require spending many months if not years on projects.”

Bradley said Moore and Nolan will create “Space Camp” by wrapping plastic industrial wrap around the Pleasant Valley Bridge underpass. 

“When the plastic is installed, it will sort of generate a kind of room-like space,” Moore said. “It will express some spatial qualities in addition to creating an ambient light effect.”

The Temporary Public Art program was established in a 2006 bond election and is funded with parkland acquisition money. The total budget for the Temporary Public Art program is $75,000 and will be spent over the course of two years. In total, there are 11 projects that will be installed from November through May.

Moore said the Temporary Art Project’s call for proposals seemed the perfect opportunity to move forward with the idea.

“I’ve lived here for many years, and I’ve passed through that overpass either commuting to work or going through the neighborhood,” Moore said. “I’ve been attracted to that space for a long time.”