Flores del Desierto

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Client: City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department

Location: El Paso, TX, United States

Completion date: 2020

Artwork budget: $750,000

Project Team

Artist

Christopher Weed

Christopher Weed Sculpture Inc.

Client/Commissioning agency

Museum and Cultural Affairs Department MCAD

City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs

Client

El Paso International Airport

El Paso International Airport City of El Paso

Overview

Public Art installation for the city of EL Paso, TX for the Airway Median corridor leading to El Paso International Airport. This installation incorporates 11 – 31’ high stainless steel sculptural elements in the median over a distance of 300’. These abstract sculptures have a beautiful daytime and nighttime presence, illuminated in the evening with color changing light emitting diodes that circulate through the color spectrum in a brilliant fashion. This colorful, abstract interpretation of beautiful native desert flora acts as a gateway to El Paso international Airport and will be an identifiable landmark in El Paso Texas, transcending time.

Goals

Flores del Desierto is part of the City of El Paso's Project to enhance the transportation corridor leading to and from the El Paso International Airport. The corridor to and from the El Paso International Airport is one of the most traveled roadways in El Paso. Because this is the first and last impression people encounter in the City, enhancing this corridor has been a top priority.

Process

The El Paso International Airport has become a valuable partner in the City's Public Art Program. When MCAD and the Airport were asked to install additional artwork along the corridor leading to the airport, they saw an opportunity to install a monumental piece that would create a strong impact on visitors to El Paso. The Artist applied design and fabrication techniques used in aviation to create an artistic interpretation of the surrounding flora, and rigid wing-like forms portray the fragility of sage blooming in the desert-scape. The use of colorful translucent materials combined with integrated lighting and the El Paso sun result in ever-changing combinations, allowing the artwork to react to its environment. Everyone of the 11 pieces in the sequence is rotated in increments of 60 degrees; giving the viewer a sense that the pieces are revolving as they drive past them.

Additional Information

The artwork was to be fabricated of durable materials and able to withstand the harsh El Paso weather. Scale and color were so that the sculptures would pop with a beautiful daytime and nighttime presence, illuminated in the evening with color-changing light-emitting diodes that circulate through the color spectrum in a brilliant fashion. This colorful, abstract interpretation of beautiful native desert flora acts as a gateway to El Paso International Airport and will be an identifiable landmark in El Paso Texas, transcending time.