"Texas Rising"

Submitted by Emily Wilkinson

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Client: Texas Tech University System

Location: Lubbock, TX, United States

Completion date: 2014

Artwork budget: $485,000

Project Team

Public Art Agent

Emily Wilkinson

Texas Tech University System

Artist

Joe O'Connell

Creative Machines Inc.

Artist

Blessing Hancock

Skyrim Studio Inc.

Overview

“Texas Rising” by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock is a series of seven stainless steel and LED light sculptures of stars. It was installed in the courtyard on the north side of the West Village Dorm. The stars are depicted in various stages of emerging from the ground, with the main 20 foot star emerging in the middle of the courtyard.

Goals

The artists were inspired by the symbol of a star as it relates to the state of Texas, and conceptually, the various sculptures represent different stages in the development of a student. Each piece was designed specifically to fit in with traditions of Texas Tech University and for their location in the dorm courtyard.

Process

The artists traveled to Lubbock, TX to speak with Texas Tech students to get a feel for campus life and elements of being a Tech student were important. All designs and hidden symbols in the piece were created as a result of the visit to campus. The largest star is touch interactive, which allows viewers to change the color of the piece. All other stars rotate through a color cycle on their own.

Additional Information

This installation was funding through the Texas Tech University System's Public Art Program, which was initiated by the Board of Regents as an investment in the campus environment and an extension of Texas Tech's educational mission. The Public Art Committee, with the Public Art Manager, commissions original public artworks of the highest quality, be they permanently sited, portable, or architecturally integrated. These works are funded using one percent (1%) of the estimated total cost of each new major capital project.