Public Art Revealed

Nasher Sculpture Center's Xchange program shines light on new artwork


Alfredo Jaar work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Alfredo Jaar work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Rachel Harrison work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Rachel Harrison work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Ruben Ochoa work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Ruben Ochoa work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Vicki Meek work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Vicki Meek work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Nasher Xchange house
Photo by Alex Bentley
Lara Almarcegui work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Charles Long work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Charles Long work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Liz Larner work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Liz Larner work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Rick Lowe work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Rick Lowe work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Good/Bad Art Collective work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Good/Bad Art Collective work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Ugo Rondinone work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley
Ugo Rondinone work for Nasher Xchange
Photo by Alex Bentley

As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, the Nasher Sculpture Center officially unveiled the 10 works from its Nasher Xchange program on October 19. The 10 works by 10 different artists are located in 10 different spots around Dallas, the first citywide museum-organized public art exhibition to ever occur in the United States.

Staying close to home, Alfredo Jaar's Music (Everything I know I learned the day my son was born) was installed at the rear of the garden at the Nasher Sculpture Center over an existing water feature.

Jaar's piece features the first cries of babies born at Baylor, Methodist Dallas and Parkland hospitals. The square box is lined inside with canvas chairs where visitors can relax while waiting for the cries. The cries don't occur at regular intervals, but rather at the exact time each child was born. Jaar expects to record more than 5,000 babies by the time the project is finished.

Rachel Harrison refers to her Moore to the point as a sign more than a sculpture, as it's meant to call attention to Henry Moore's Three Forms Vertabrae (The Dallas Piece), which has been installed on the Dallas City Hall plaza since 1978.

Harrison's piece has special significance to the Nasher family, as Henry Moore was one of Raymond and Patsy Nasher's close friends. They were instrumental in convincing him to do the city hall piece, as he had previously been against putting his works in front of buildings.

Ruben Ochoa's Flock in Space at Trinity River Audubon Center consists of 95 metal posts and 54 concrete footings designed to evoke birds flying. Ochoa took inspiration from the fact that the site of the Audubon Center used to be an illegal dump site.

The posts were reinforced in six feet of concrete in order to keep them secure. Still, Ochoa's second-ever work of public art sways in the wind, making the illusion of bird movement even stronger.

Vicki Meek's Black & Blue: Cultural Oasis in the Hills is a series of photo collages that honors the history of Bishop College, which used to be on the campus where Paul Quinn College now sits.

Here, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell introduces Meek at the opening ceremony, which also included a brass band, cheerleaders and other festivities.

Meek installed 15 different cultural markers along the main drag leading into and out of Paul Quinn College. Each shows an aspect of the arts that Bishop College taught or promoted. Bishop's embracing of the arts was unusual among historically black colleges and universities, which tend to be conservative and not as interested in artistic pursuits.

Meek's project, which will be a permanent feature on the campus, will also include a documentary, smartphone app and website, bishopblackandblue.com.

Lara Almarcegui's Buried House transformed this house in Oak Cliff Gardens that was slated for demolition into...

...little more than a pile of dirt in what used to be the home's backyard. Almarcegui put all of the pieces from the torn-down home into a 65-foot deep hole, leaving nothing visible save for scattered pieces of brick and glass around the lot.

Almarcegui views the project as a memorial for what used to stand on that spot and the neighborhood in transition. She also thinks that most people won't actually believe the entire house is under the ground, which she see as one of the beauties of the work.

Charles Long's Fountainhead at NorthPark Center is a multi-layered piece. Featuring images of money cascading down the sculpture, Long says it's partially designed to make fun of people's obsession with money, especially since it's "set in a court of conspicuous spending."

The title of the piece is no accident, calling to mind Ayn Rand's acclaimed novel. But unlike the book, which famously said we should never help people, this fountain is designed for visitors to donate to one of three charities: North Texas Food Bank, Dallas CASA or Bookmarks, the branch of the Dallas Public Library at NorthPark Center.

You can donate $1, $3 or $5 with a credit card, and then the screen lets you swipe a virtual coin toward the fountain, causing a splash in the flowing money.

Liz Larner's X is located inside the new Edith O'Donnell Arts and Technology Building on the University of Texas at Dallas campus. Made entirely out of maple wood, it's a piece that's both figuratively and literally a melding of art and technology. Larner used a stereolithographic print to help her make the sculpture.

Larner will contribute a second, stainless steel version of the sculpture to the university when the building is officially dedicated on November 7.

Rick Lowe's Trans.lation stemmed from meetings with residents of Dallas' Vickery Meadow neighborhood. Aiming to showcase the diversity of the neighborhood, Lowe and the residents came up with the idea of staging pop-up markets at which people could sell their unique art, clothes, plants and more.

The pop-up markets, which also act as mini-festivals for the neighborhood, will happen monthly through the duration of the Xchange program. The remaining markets will happen on November 23, December 21, January 18 and February 22.

There will also be three cubic structures along Ridgecrest Road that will house a series of neighborhood art exhibitions.

Good/Bad Art Collective's Curtains is a three-stage project that began with an interactive filming on October 19. Groups of three were brought into a waiting room lined with curtains that look like a TV test pattern and that featured a rectangle broadcasting white noise.

After you were ushered in with the ominous warning, "It's curtains for..." whatever number you were wearing, you were led through three rooms, in which you were asked to perform three different tasks for the cameras, including crawling, dancing and walking with a cane.

Future visitors can visit the studio on the 14th floor of Bryan Tower in downtown Dallas to see where the filming took place and get a glimpse of how people performed. The final product will be an 28-minute infomercial of sorts that will be broadcast late at night on an undetermined future date.

Ugo Rondinone's dear sunset is located at Fish Trap Lake near the headquarters of the Dallas Housing Authority. Rondinone hopes the colorful pier will encourage visitors to reflect and take in the beauty of the lake, especially at sunset.

Unfortunately, the pier was not quite stable at the opening of Xchange, meaning visitors were not allowed to go on it. The Nasher and Rondinone will continue to work until it reaches his full vision.

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