"Texas Rising" by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock is a series of seven stainless steel and LED light sculptures of stars. It was installed in the courtyard on the north side of the West Village Dorm. The stars are depicted in various stages of emerging from the ground, with the main 20 foot star emerging in the middle of the courtyard.
The artists were inspired by the symbol of a star as it relates to the state of Texas, and conceptually, the various sculptures represent different stages in the development of a student. Each piece was designed specifically to fit in with traditions of Texas Tech University and for their location in the dorm courtyard.
The artists traveled to Lubbock, TX to speak with Texas Tech students to get a feel for campus life and elements of being a Tech student were important. All designs and hidden symbols in the piece were created as a result of the visit to campus. The largest star is touch interactive, which allows viewers to change the color of the piece. All other stars rotate through a color cycle on their own.
This installation was funding through the Texas Tech University System's Public Art Program, which was initiated by the Board of Regents as an investment in the campus environment and an extension of Texas Tech's educational mission. The Public Art Committee, with the Public Art Manager, commissions original public artworks of the highest quality, be they permanently sited, portable, or architecturally integrated. These works are funded using one percent (1%) of the estimated total cost of each new major capital project.
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Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
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