Art in progress: “Thirst” take shape

Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 19, 2013

Progress on “Thirst” is coming along.

On a ranch east of Austin, the striking public art project headed for placement in Lady Bird Lake — a drought-ravaged 35-foot cedar elm tree — is in the process of its final touches.

On Thursday, professional painters finished up painting the tree white.

Once installed, “Thirst” will appear to hover over Lady Bird Lake as it bears witness to the more than 300 million Texas trees lost to the exceptional drought of the past several years.

The innovative public art project — a collaboration between artist Beili Liu along with architects Emily Little and Norma Yancey and landscape architect Cassie Bergstrom — will begin its journey to the lake where it will be installed between the Lamar Blvd. bridge and the Pfluger pedestrian bridge.

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A dedication ceremony is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29. The project will remain in place until Dec. 20.

Commissioned by nonprofit organization Women & Their Work, “Thirst” is funded by a grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

“Thirst.” Sept. 29-Dec. 20, Lady Bird Lake, www.thirstart.org

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