LEON CREEK CROSSING

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Client: Public Art San Antonio

Location: San Antonio, TX, United States

Completion date: 2016

Project Team

Artist

Barbara Grygutis

Barbara Grygutis Sculpture LLC

Industry Resource

Jack Harrison P.E.

Structural Design Consulting

Industry Resource

Industrial Stainless International

Industrial Stainless International

Public Art Agent

Rebecca Johnson

City of San Antonio

Overview

"Leon Creek Crossing" is a layered, multi-dimensional work of art designed for the Hausman Road Bridge over the Leon Creek Trail and Greenway Park. A series of seven arched aluminum sculptures, evoking natural shapes, combine to form a sculptural space through which the viewer passes. The sculptures function to create shade over the pedestrian walkway along the bridge deck during the day, and are illuminated at night. The laser cut aluminum pattern of the artwork evokes the canopy of trees below along the trail system.

Goals

When designing artwork for the new Hausman Road Bridge, it was important to create a sense of place unique to this crossing over the serene Leon Creek Greenway below. It was critical for the artwork to be viewable from multiple perspectives and speeds of travel. While the traffic over the bridge moves upwards of 40 miles per hour, bicyclists and pedestrians frequent the bridge and the popular trail below. The artwork brings the dappled light and shapes of the riparian plant community up from below to create an inviting pedestrian walkway along the otherwise concrete bridge. Artist drawn images are laser cut in aluminum plate. The canopy creates ever shifting shadow patterns and simultaneously provide much needed shade. At night, "Leon Creek Crossing" is lit from within to create vibrant blue color effects. The lighting in combination with the aluminum creates a shimmering visual texture.

Process

For this project it was important to communicate closely with engineer Jack Harrison P.E. of Structural Design Consulting, to ensure that the artwork would be durable and compatible with the bridge for generations to come. Grygutis also worked closely with fabricators Industrial Stainless International to create the aluminum sculptures' intricate artist designed laser cut patterns and to realize the final elegant, canopy-like structure.