Client: City of El Paso Public Art Program
Location: El Paso, TX, United States
Completion date: 2020
Artwork budget: $205,000
Perkins + Will
Coldspring Granite USA
The artist created a space in the public plaza near the entrance to the building, responding to the stakeholder goals laid out in the Master Plan for Public Art for Eastside Regional Park in El Paso. Oasis Sombrió literally creates an oasis of shade so as to establish a place that provides respite from the activity of the venue and from the intensity of the sun. Comprised of nine curvilinear granite sculptural seating elements, ranging from 3′ to 9′ in diameter and which sit upon a triangular-shaped ground plane of decomposed granite, the artwork is shaded by eight Palo Verde trees, which in time will create a veritable shaded oasis. A place is thus created for people to comfortably gather, singly or in groups.
The artist worked extensively with the architect over the span of the project to integrate the artwork into the plaza design and have a relationship with the architecture. Due to the local climate and architecture's programming, the artist deemed it important to provide a place of shade and respite.
The artist became involved with the project from the earliest stage of the overall project's design process to insure that the artwork did not look like an afterthought. The artist worked directly with the architect's on both the conceptual design and well as the final detailing of the components of the project. Note: while the artist was responsible for design of the space, the decomposed granite, foundations and lighting were not within the artist's fabrication scope.
On the first visit to the site with the architects, we made a visit to Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, which influenced both the architecture and the artwork.