“The Austin Wall” unveiling and other public art openings

Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 18, 2013

Beginning with today’s unveiling party for “The Austin Wall,” several new public art projects are ready for their close up.

“The Austin Wall,” U.S. Federal Courthouse, 501 W. Fifth St.

When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. Ross will give his remarks at 7 p.m.

Measuring a whopping 28 feet square and weighing some 5,840 pounds, “The Austin Wall” is an original stained glass artwork by Clifford Ross, commissioned by the General Services Administration for the newly constructed U.S. Federal Courthouse. An interpretation of the Texas Hill Country landscape, “The Austin Wall” gets it official unveiling at a public reception. The artist will be on hand to talk about the work. Live music on the courthouse plaza by Austin Jazz Workshop. Food trucks Chi’Lantro BBQ and Coolhaus will be on site.

Photo I.D. is required to enter the courthouse.

www.austintexas.gov/event/unveiling-austin-wall

“Solar Tree,” Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W. Dittmar Rd.

When: 10 a.m. June 21

On the summer solstice, Art in Public Places will celebrate the completion of “Solar Tree,” a public artwork at Dittmar Recreation Center which incorporates solar energy collection panels. Austin artist Barna Kantor was commissioned to create the artwork as part of the construction of the new gymnasium for the Dittmar Recreation Center. The artwork is the central feature of the plaza in front of the gymnasium and includes boulders for sitting. The canopy provides shade as it collects energy from the sun and transfers it into Austin’s energy grid. At night the tree is lit with a halo of LED lights, and solar-powered LED lights imbedded in the plaza glow.

“Turtle Plaza / Plaza de las Tortugas,” Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park, 400 Grove Blvd. When: 10 a.m. July 1

Artist John Christensen collaborated with the park design team and to create artwork to be installed in Guerro Colorado River Park. Christensen and the design team chose the turtle as a park icon because turtles are abundant in Austin’s rivers and lakes, especially in the area around the park. In the children’s playground, the artist created four abstracted concrete turtles for children to climb on.

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