Creek Show

Submitted by Ingrid Spencer

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Client: Waller Creek Conservancy

Location: Austin, TX, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $75,000

Project Team

Art Consultant

Ingrid Spencer, Curator and Director

Landscape Architect

Jason Sowell, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Architect

Robert Gay, Lucy Begg

Thoughtbarn

Industry Resource

Matt Musiel, Bill Twitchel, Loren Tilton, Geno Garzo

Austin Paintworks

Architect

Andrei Klypin, Connor Finn, Jon Davidson

Thoughtbarn

Architect

Burton Baldridge, Michael Hargens, Brian Bedrosian

Baldridge Architects

Landscape Architect

Rachel Tepper, Alex Ramirez, Jessica Zarowitz

Design Workshop

Architect

Murray Legge, Deborah Lewis, Andrea Legge, Travis Cook

Legge Lewis Legge

Industry Resource

Mark Herzer

Spectrum Lighting

Overview

Creek Show is a temporary architecture/landscape architecture/art installation series created to bring attention to the soon-to-be-transformed Waller Creek corridor in downtown Austin TX. Creek Show created Light Night, which was five site-specific light-based installations along a 4-block section of Waller Creek. Three architecture firms, one landscape architecture firm, one landscape architect and professor participated. Over 1,000 people came to the event on Thursday, November 13, 2014. The installations were up for the weekend.

Goals

Creek Show is based on bringing these types of collaborative works into the creek to inform, delight, and educate people about an abandoned area of Austin that will soon be redeveloped. Creek Show now has a logo, an identity, and a successful inaugural event! The series will continue to involve architects, landscape architects, and artists by commissioning these types of installations, and the temporary works will be site specific and relate to the creek itself.

Process

Ingrid Spencer directed and curated Creek Show—choosing the participating designers and keeping them on track. Each of the five teams collaborated by meeting regularly to help define the program for Creek Show, and working together they planned the process and the event. Each of the five teams came up with their own design idea, and while each individual team created it, they all supported and helped each other along the way, making this a very positive, collaborative experience.

Additional Information

Waller Creek is a 1.5-mile creek that runs through downtown Austin, and because it lies in a flood plain, 29 acres of surrounding land could not be developed. The city is digging a flood control tunnel, and the Waller Creek Conservancy was created to be stewards of the area. Michael van Valkenburgh and Thomas Phifer won a competition to plan the re-develop which includes a series of five parks—but they can't start until the tunnel is completed—years away. Creek Show bridges that gap, bringing people to the creek for a cultural experience—a precursor of the excitement to come.