Wednesday, July 28, 2021

City to Install Public Art at Park Village

Ideas are beginning to take shape for the artwork planned to be installed at the Park Village fountain at the corner of Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue.  

During a joint meeting January 27, Mayor Laura Hill, the City Council and the Southlake Arts Council discussed art options and timeframe for the installation. 

The Arts Council envisions a contemporary sculpture that portrays flight. The property is the former site of an airport. Discussions are ongoing with an artist based in Arkansas. 

“Southlake’s Public Art program brings such a special feel to our community,” Mayor Laura Hill said. “Working with the Arts Council to bring another incredible piece to one of Southlake’s most popular areas is exciting. That corner deserves a special piece that captures the spirit of our City and all it represents.” 

Funding for the artwork will come from a public investment agreement with the property owner that uses sales and property tax from the development. 

In November, the Southlake City Council approved a zoning change and site plan for the Park Village development that included modifications to the fountain area. The fountain was deemed inoperable, and the modifications will correct issues to create a community atmosphere. The site plans call for the City to install public art. 

The property owner began construction this week to modify the fountain area with an anticipated completion June 2021, weather permitting. 

City Council Approves Bob Jones Sculpture

City Council approved the final concept and contract for new Public Art as a tribute to Bob and Almeady Jones at the November 17, City Council meeting.

Jones was a former slave, husband, and father who became a prosperous landowner and rancher in the Roanoke-Southlake area between the late 1860s and early 1870s. He and his wife Almeady Jones raised 10 children together and were well-respected residents.

As a part of Southlake’s art initiative to promote public art in Southlake, the Southlake Arts Council extended an invite to local artists to submit a proposal for a commissioned sculpture in honor of the Jones Family to be placed at Bob Jones Park. Artist Seth Vandable was selected for his piece, Bob and Almeady Jones Monument.

The bronze monument depicts Bob and Almeady dressed in period attire relaxing beside a picnic, enjoying a freshly harvested summer meal after a hard day of work farming, and teaching their children to welcome visitors to the park.  

The piece incorporates the agricultural history of Southlake along with the family values and work ethic which would serve as a cultural touchstone to current residents and visitors.

According to Vandable’s artist statement, he believes the sculpture will be a reflection of the City’s past.

“I believe Southlake will strongly identify with this sculpture as a beautiful timeless symbol of your strong City’s past, the strength of the family and determination to succeed in the face of challenges,” he stated.

The monument will be on display at Bob Jones Park in Spring 2021

Funding for this project is allocated within the approved FY 2021 Public Art Fund CIP budget in the amount of $100,000.

Explore “Animalia” and learn more about the lives of some of the most precious animals

Once again, the City of Southlake is partnering with APEX Arts League to present a fall art exhibit in Town Hall. This year we are pleased to present “Animalia,” an exhibit portraying beautiful animal works of art by Charice Cooper. The exhibit will run through Friday, November 6 in Town Hall or virtually on the Public Art webpage.

“Animalia” features unique works of art highlighting animals considered vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered such as the Western Lowland Gorilla and a Polar Bear.

For those not yet comfortable to visit Town Hall or those who would like to know more about Ms. Cooper they are encouraged to view the virtual tour that was created and posted on the Public Art website.

“This year’s exhibit will look a little bit different than in years past,” noted Southlake Arts Council Chair Miriam Murray. “But it was important to us to create the opportunity for everyone to be able to view the beautiful pieced Charice created in a way that was safe and from the comfort of home. These really are exquisite pieces and I hope everyone is able to enjoy them.”

About the artist

Charice Cooper was born and raised in the DFW area. Raised in a very musical and artistic family where creativity was encouraged and well nurtured. While she enjoyed music and dance, animals and art were her deepest passion. Tightly and beautifully intertwined, one passion continuously fueled the other through countless hours devoted to both.

Despite her upbringing, she found herself in the corporate world for many year, her paint brushed sitting untouched. Turning to art for as a stress relief, in 2000, she left the corporate world to become a full-time artist.

At first, murals were the staple of her business and as the diversity of her clients’ requests expanded, so did her repertoire. As time has passed, she has transitioned her time to paint behind an easel more.

“Left to my own devices, I return to what is near and dear to my heart, animals,” said Cooper. “It is my deepest hope to motivate others to action by bringing awareness to the immense challenges animals face, as well as provide a renewed appreciation of their existence by capturing their essence through the instruments of my craft.”

To learn more about Charice Cooper and view more of her art pieces, visit her website, www.charicecooper.com.

Town Square Mural Project – I Believe in Southlake

Community Services Director Chris Tribble presented a first look at the Town Square Mural Project at the August 18 City Council meeting.

With recent changes to the economy due to COVID-19, businesses had to adjust to new challenges with decreases to customer volume and how to serve their customers.

“Several months ago, when we first started talking about the economic recovery of Southlake and doing some initiatives to help our businesses… one of the things we’d talked about in particular is bringing people back to Town Square,” Mayor Laura Hill said during the meeting. “Since we already had the ‘I Believe in Southlake’ logo, I’d thought it would be really cool to paint on the side of one of our buildings.”

The mural titled, “I Believe in Southlake,” was designed by Graphics Coordinator Missy Saunders and includes beloved staples of the Southlake community and Texas. It will be the first of its kind as a part of any Southlake Public Art initiative. The painting, which is estimated to be 15 feet wide and 8.5 feet tall will be on display in Town Square.

The artwork will be painted by artist Liz Bonham and is scheduled to be completed Fall 2020, weather permitting.

This initiative is also part of the Arts Master Plan, which includes creating engaging public spaces that stimulate discussion, cultivate patrons of the arts and celebrate the history of Southlake while continuing to integrate art into the daily lives of residents and visitors.

Be The Bridge Comes Home to Southlake

A poignant milestone was reached today on the North White Chapel and Highland Street roundabout. The Be The Bridge public art piece is now in place.

“It’s an emotional day,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “In the middle of all of this uncertainty, to have this beautiful sculpture take it rightful place in the heart of our City just feels good.”

Picture artist unloading art

Artist Boris Kramer helps install Be The Bridge.

Artist Boris Kramer sculpted Be The Bridge. It is composed of several different metals, including stainless steel, bronze, copper, and brass. It is 16 feet wide by nearly 17 feet tall.

According to Mr. Kramer, each of the figures feature a curve in space to make the figures appear to be in motion. Also, when viewed from above, the sculpture looks like an “S.”

He also stated in a narrative given to the City, “The bridge is intentionally left with a gap in the middle to represent the challenges that exist in our society due to our differences.  The bridges in our lives do not always connect.  The children dancing on the bridge are able to “jump over” the challenges by working together, holding hands, and simply playing together.”

“I am so excited for people to enjoy it,” Mayor Hill added. “Especially now, this sculpture tells Southlake’s story. The artist constructed a gorgeous piece of art.”

The piece is the latest addition to Southlake’s Public Art collection.  For a virtual tour and art locations, please visit www.ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com/PublicArt.

Be the Bridge during installation.

 

Southlake Public Art Collection Now Available Online

The City of Southlake’s Community Services Department discussed Southlake’s Public Art Program, online art gallery, funding sources and art partnerships at the June 4 City Council meeting.

Throughout the years, the City of Southlake has developed a remarkable collection of public art and has consistently invested in routine maintenance and conservation of those assets.

If you drive around Southlake, you will notice that the City often utilizes open spaces, intersections, key gateways, key destinations and roundabouts as opportunities to place public art.

The Southlake public art collection has always been a staple in the community. It tells a story about the City’s history, artistic style and residents.

With the expansion of the public art collection, the Southlake Arts Council is working diligently to implement the City’s public art initiatives through Southlake Public Arts Programs.

The purpose of the Southlake Public Arts Programs is to enhance the cultural life of the community through the arts.  To accomplish this, the Southlake Arts Council was appointed by City Council to advise on art-related matters and align all the public art initiatives.  Resources for programs are granted through the Public Art fund and partnerships with arts organizations and community groups that bring art-related programming to the community.

A new addition to the program is the online art gallery available through the use of a story map which can be found on the City’s website.  Now you have the option to view the Southlake public art collection in person or online anytime. As a bonus, a Southlake Public Art Coloring Book is also available.

Learn more about the Southlake Public Art Program here.

N. White Chapel Widening Project On Schedule and Making Major Headway

The end of the school year is right around the corner and while that means summer break for many, it’s rock and roll time for the N. White Chapel widening project. N. White Chapel from Highland to SH 114 will have a totally new look by the time school is back in session.

Despite some intervention from Mother Nature with some heavy rain falls, the project is pretty much on schedule. Most recently in mid-April, crews closed a section of east Highland to begin construction of the east side of the dual-lane roundabout.

If you’ve driven through the N. White Chapel and Highland intersection, you can see the roundabout starting to take shape. The old pavement has been removed and crews are working on leveling the surface in preparation to pave. Work on this side of the roundabout is expected to be completed by early June so work on the other side of the roundabout can begin.

New pavement is in on the southbound lanes and is closer to joining with the existing pavement close to the intersection of N. White Chapel and SH 114. Meanwhile what’s left to pave on the northbound traffic side is formed up to be ready to pave. Weather permitting the contractor hopes to have paving of the new traffic lanes completed in a few weeks.

“It’s great to be able to actually see the roundabout taking shape,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “So far 70 percent of the work has been completed. Up next is the completion of the roundabout, installation of public art in the roundabout, landscaping and new sidewalks.”

As with any construction project, drivers are encouraged to be extra aware of their surroundings and if possible avoid the area.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook for all the up-to-date mobility news in Southlake. You can also visit the website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

Council Approves Public Arts Master Plan as element of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan

City Council voted on Tuesday, September 18 to adopt the Public Arts Master Plan, a cohesive vision and strategy for Southlake’s Public Art initiative.  It also identifies opportunities, recommendations and resources to promote public art in Southlake.

“The city gains value through public art – cultural, social and economic. One of the most fascinating aspects of public arts is that it is accessible to everyone; it is a staple in our community that tells a story about the city’s history, citizens and artistic style,” said Senior Director of Planning and Development Services Ken Baker. “Public art can be displayed in many forms, sizes and scales, from a sculpture to a milestone to an eye-catching abstract piece that reflects our city’s values, invigorates public spaces and creates uniqueness to the community.”

Highlights of the plan include:

Public Art Collection Building and Maintenance: The mission of the Southlake Public art initiative is to create a better visual environment for residents and visitors.  Recommendations focus on maintaining the visibility of the public art collection by reviewing landscape and lighting surrounding public art installments in addition to optimizing visibility of the collection. The plan also covers diversifying Southlake’s Public Art Collection by partnering with arts agencies, enhancing art donations and updating and engaging the public on procurement process.

The plan identifies opportunities to add public art to Southlake’s collection and guidance on how to expand the Public Arts Program, including recommendations to the Carillon project, installing interactive art and incorporating art into park design and redevelopment.

Other recommendations call on expanding on current partnerships, identifying new partnerships, marketing opportunities and recognizing programs that highlight or increase performing arts opportunities such as film, literature, dance, music and theatre.

To learn more about the Public Arts Master Plan, click here.

Step into Fall with APEX Arts League and the Grapevine Art Project

The City of Southlake is partnering with APEX Arts League and the Grapevine Art Project to present “Stepping into Fall,” a multimedia exhibit that will run September 7 through November 2 in Southlake Town Hall.

“Stepping into Fall” will feature unique works of art from the Grapevine Art Project, a community of more than 85 artists from Grapevine and surrounding areas who love to create, enjoy and learn about art.

Join us on Sunday, September 23, for a free exhibit reception featuring wine from the Bingham Family Vineyards, hors d’ourvres and live music by Mélange Musical.

“Stepping into Fall” Exhibit Reception

Sunday, September 23, 2018
5 – 6:30 p.m.
Southlake Town Hall
Free and Open to the Public

The Grapevine Art Project holds monthly meetings on the second Thursday evening of each month, often featuring presentations and demonstrations from highly regarded artists in many diverse media. Visitors are welcome to attend and learn more about the organization, its members and programs. Artists include painters, photographers, potters, jewelers, sculptors, weavers and other visual media formats. New members, even those who are not artists, are always welcome. For more information, visit www.grapevineartproject.com.

Mélange Musical is a Grapevine-based chamber music ensemble comprised of professional musicians from local orchestras and universities. Their unique concerts offer original commentary to enlighten and enrich their listeners’ understanding of the composers, instruments and compositions. By keeping their ensembles small, Mélange Musical aims to create an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience for musicians and attendees. To learn more about Mélange Musical and see a list of their upcoming concerts at the Lancaster Theatre in Grapevine, visit www.MelangeMusical.com.

The Bingham Family Vineyards is a multigenerational wine-growing family that promises the curious wine explorer a joyful experience through 100% Texas grown and crafted estate wines, the fullest expression of the High Plains. To learn more about their wines, visit www.bingham.wine or visit their tasting room on Grapevine Main.

If you would like more information about “Stepping into Fall,” please contact Southlake Community Services at (817) 748-8306.