Monuments by Craig Walsh

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Client: Discovery Green

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Project Manager

Ady Avivi

Weingarten Art Group

President and Park Director

Barry Mandel

Discovery Green

Programming Director

Susanne Theis

Discovery Green

Artist

Craig Walsh

Overview

“Monuments” was an ethereal outdoor video installation using Discovery Green’s trees as its canvas. Created by the artist Craig Walsh, this project featured the slow-motion portraits of five Houstonians cycling through expressions of smiling, yawning, sleeping, and looking around, all projected onto the park’s trees.

These engaging portraits produced a sculptural yet ephemeral work that moved with the trees in a luminous and haunting display. It was an inspiring “monument” that bridged the individual with nature and challenged the conception of who should be honored in public spaces. The honorees, five local unsung heroes, were selected through a public process seeking Houstonians who exemplify our city’s tradition of neighbor helping neighbor.

Goals

This project took place at the height of the pandemic, when we were isolated and detached from one another. It felt all the more meaningful to come together to honor members of our community through this temporary art installation at Discovery Green, Houston’s “village green.”

Process

The artist Craig Walsh could not physically be in Houston for the filming or installation because of travel restrictions during the pandemic, but he seamlessly managed the process remotely from Australia, guiding a local team on the ground every step of the way. The artist guided Houston videographer Justin Nava on how to direct and film each of the honorees and used this footage to create the video portraits that were projected onto the trees for the installation.

Weingarten Art Group provided curation and project management services and worked with Houston AV company Brightstar Productions to realize this project from start to finish. As for the selection process, Discovery Green asked Houstonians to answer a short questionnaire on their website, nominating local heroes who make an impact on life in Houston. A broad committee of community leaders then selected the heroes from submissions received. Almost 50 nominations were received, each one telling a different story of kindness, generosity, and bravery.