Listen to Austin 360 Radio

It’s never too late to discover UT’s twister of a canoe sculpture

Michael Barnes
[Contributed by Paul Bardagjy/Landmarks]

You Gotta See This is a series recommending art around Austin that you just shouldn't miss.

"Monochrome for Austin"

Artist: Nancy Rubins

Location: Speedway and 24th Street, UT campus


It was installed four years ago, but many Austinites might have yet to see “Monochrome for Austin,” Nancy Rubins' monumental sculpture on the University of Texas campus. That’s because it looms over UT students, faculty, staff and visitors far from the school’s more popular attractions aimed at the general public on the eastern, southern and western verges of campus.

But you gotta see this 55-foot installation that weighs 8 tons and combines 70 metallic canoes into a maelstrom of aggressive angles and curves. It looks like a twister has whisked up the boats and left them dangling precariously over the sidewalk. Despite its name, “Monochrome” glistens with subtle, reflected colors that change constantly with the movement of the sun, moon, clouds, ambient light and nearby shadows.

It is one of several extraordinary works of public art created by UT’s award-winning Landmarks program, which has become a model for universities across the country.


Art loves drawn to new giant indoor mural at the University of Texas

Meet the poster girl in that dreamy new Dell Medical School art

UT makes big leap into public art