Sluice - CODAworx

Client: H-E-B

Location: Houston, TX, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team


Patrick Renner

Flying Carpet Creative


Kelly O'Brien

Flying Carpet Creative

Art Consultant

Lea Weingarten

Weingarten Art Group


Lisa Helfman



Sliced and juiced, this fresh produce artwork by Flying Carpet Creative is a commissioned sculptural intervention in the most public and democratic of all spaces – a grocery store. The work is the third in a series commissioned by visionary supermarket chain owner H-E-B, who says “We’re in the people business. We just happen to sell groceries.” Their notion – to make art as accessible as food – is being realized over time in a new program involving multiple new store constructions. To date, four commissions have been realized.

Sluice is a celebration of sustainability in art, incorporating both biodegradable and repurposed materials. A splash of sliced juicy discs are suspended through the store’s main foyer, gushing from a wall-based, mythical amalgamated “future-fruit” – part citrus, part melon, part…? The aerial ballet of droplets, coupled with the wooden wall element create a dynamic path through the entryway – a tasty aperitif to the experience that awaits shoppers within.


A key goal was to select a design reflecting whimsy, vibrance and an obvious tie to food/nature. Equally important, was the Houston-based artists’ practice of repurposing wood and reclaimed resin, otherwise bound for landfill. Finally, In addition to supporting regional artistic talent, we were delighted by the integration community participation into the actual artwork (see “Process” below).


The highest levels of management were involved in the selection of these artists and this design. Sluice’s primary composition of recycled materials is compelling (given its scale) and involved local reclamation. Equally compelling was the massive “Painting Party” that the artists hosted in their warehouse-space studio for H-E-B employees to paint the wooden slats that were used to weave the central wall-mounted sculpture. Every employee involved can now identify directly with this project.