Prairie Crossing

5+

Client: City of Wylie

Location: Wylie, TX, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist

Michael Szabo

Michael Szabo Studio

Public Art Program Director

Carole Ehrlich

City of Wylie, TX

Overview

Prairie Crossing consists of a 50’ long undulating seating bench that gives way to a web of grasslike arches. Evoking the beautiful chaos of prairie grasses, the web provides a gateway for those entering the Municipal Complex. In the daytime the arches provide shade for rest or conversation while creating intricate shadow designs on the ground below. At night, in-ground up-lights inside and outside of the seating wall illuminate the structure for a dramatic effect from the street or for those approaching on the trail for an evening walk.

Goals

This sculpture was commissioned along with Entwine by the city of Wylie to activate the walking trails on the grounds of its Municipal Complex. By exploring the parallel between Wylie's cultural identity and its native Texas Blackland Prairie eco-region, the pieces create a visceral experience for citizens and visitors by illustrating how elegantly the deep roots of people and place can take the lead in defining change and growth into the future.

Process

The concept for these pieces was developed through research into the natural and cultural history of the region and ongoing dialogue with the community and city staff.