Client: City of Houston Civic Art Collection, Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $260,000
Falon Land Studio LLC
Merge Studios LLC
Erin H. Salmatanis
Craft Structural LLC
Skilled Construction LLC
Video Documentation, Storytelling
Zainob Mathew Create
Zainob Mathew Create LLC
Project Liaison, Civic Art Management
Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Arts Alliance
Windbloom is a supersized flower shading device that maps the site’s prevailing wind. As a pavilion-type sculpture, like an umbrella, Windbloom is meant to be experienced up close from underneath as a colorful shading device or from a distance as a supersized flower map. Inspired by the native ecology of the building site as an open coastal prairie, it creates a colorful map of the site’s prevailing winds with colorful “petals.” Constructed of painted carbon steel, polycarbonate resin panels, and customized attachments, all components of the sculpture are envisioned as “plant-like” with the structural supports taking on the form of plant tendrils and the plates modeled after a flower calyx (the plant part between flower petals and leaves).
Interdisciplinary artist Falon Mihalic invites the community to interact with the work both through firsthand experience of the piece and through the community engagement wind map diagrams housed in the public library. Windbloom gives form to the site’s ephemeral ecological qualities and fortifies the new Alief Community Center as a place for connection, reflection, and discovery.
As a new neighborhood center, the artwork was especially important for creating a sense of community and belonging in the public park space. MOCA released the opportunity to artists residing in the Greater Houston Area and, with input from District F Council Member Tiffany Thomas, oversaw a selection process which emphasized community representation. A selection panel of City department, community, and art world representatives was assembled to review 9 finalists proposals, three for each artwork site, from 76 original applicants.
Windbloom is a permanent public artwork for the new Alief Neighborhood Center,
commissioned by the City of Houston's Civic Art Program and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural
Affairs on behalf of three partnering City departments: the Houston Public Library, the Houston
Health Department, and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. This commission project is managed by the Houston Arts Alliance on behalf of the Mayor’s
Office of Cultural Affairs.
Windbloom is one of three public artworks commissioned for the City's new community center. The new $54-million mixed-used center accommodates three City of Houston facilities under one roof, creating a civic center at the heart of a redeveloped 38-acre active urban sports park. A new paradigm for providing City services, the 70,000 sf 3-story LEED-certified, award-winning building is the first of its kind, designed to leverage resources between the Houston Health, Houston Parks and Recreation, and Houston Public Library departments for the benefit of the Alief Complete Community with special focus on community engagement, identity, and civic wellbeing. In the event of natural disasters and emergencies, this facility will also serve as resilience hub or lily pad. "Each of the local artists selected to create artworks for this state-of-the-art facility highlight the strength of Houston’s creative community,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. "The three commissioned public artworks at the Alief Neighborhood Center will not only enhance the Alief Complete Community, but will also inspire its residents and make the entire city proud.”