Richmond Ave Trail of Art

Submitted by Gus Kopriva

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Client: St. George Redevelopment Authority

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $42,000

Project Team

Owner/ Engineer

Gus Kopriva

Redbud Gallery

Partner

James Vick

SWA Group

Artists

John Runnells/Elizabeth Akanatsu

self employed

Artists

Joyce Lin, Parick Renner

Self Employed

Artists

Kevin Stanford, S. Kopriva

Self Employed

Planner

Daniel khuat

City of Houston

director

Tanja Peterson

Redbud Galelry

sponsor

Linda Clayton

hawes Hill and Assoc for SGRA

Cultural Liason

Debbie Mcnulty

Mayors office COH

Overview

A third of the top ten activities for visitors are arts, culture and festival related activities. Arts and culture are part of the larger “creative economy”

After an eight year successful implementation of a temporary sculpture exhibition located on the esplanade of a major Houston Boulevard, The SWA Group ( landscaping design and construct) invited Redbud Gallery to present a proposal to the St. George Redevelopment Authority (SGRA) to place artwork as a vital integral part of their landscaping program on Richmond Ave,

The scope of work was accepted and sponsored by the SGRA in Dec 2020. . A total of ten sculptures by ten artists are situated on City of Houston property. The project timing is April 1 thru December 31, 2021. The temporary works have no particular theme. All works had to be safe and acceptable to the general public.

The artist received a $2500 stipend upfront. A catalogue is produced. Art retail value is $120,000. Materials of construction are mixed media and fit within a ten ft sq by 16 ft space. Redbud obtained liability insurance and hold harmless contracts for each work. The works are currently installed as of mid-April.

Goals

The goal of the project was to organize an outdoor public art exhibition on Richmond Ave.that is representative of regional works of contemporary art for the enjoyment of our community .The sculptures would advance the understanding and appreciation of art. By integrating art with a major landscaping project, the sculptures add a visible three solid dimension to a site which is composed of low growth plantings.

The benefits of the program, contribute to the following: :

• enhances environment
• creates sense of place / distinctiveness
• increases community cohesion, well-being
• adds economic value thru inward investment and tourism
• fosters civic pride / confidence / quality of life
• reduces crime
Basically the program adds humor through these difficult times. We make people feel better !

Process

After we received approval from our sponsor, we collaborated on the choosing of sculpture sites. Since we were setting art on City of Houston right of way, Redbud had to obtain liability insurance, hold harmless contracts, location drawings, artist resumes, statements, renderings of the art, and sealed engineering drawings of the installations. Permits were requested from Public Works, the Mayor’s office and the Parks and Recreation Departments of the City.
Due to the sites location in a major hurricane wind zone, new five ft square concrete foundations had to be constructed to anchor each piece. We had to schedule our sculpture settings with the ongoing landscape construction to avoid unnecessary delays. The finished art was then photographed and accompanying text was written for our newly designed exhibition catalogue. The project was a successful collaboration between our clients, landscape design group, artists, construction contractors, insurance suppliers, photographers, and three City of Houston departments.

Additional Information

This exhibition garners over 10 M drive by looks on an annual basis. The public overwhelmingly approves the art. Houston has many grand boulevards and other districts throughout our large city have requested sculpture programs for their areas. To our astonishment, there has been no vandalism at any of our sites. Currently there are 24 active art locations on three major thoroughfares.