Fabulous progress on the foundation and concrete work for "Snapshot" at the BakerRipley Castillo Community center! Waiting on the steel skyframe next! Big shout out to Adrian Garcia office precint 2 for all their collaboration and contracting concrete work. Awesome!
Abernathy, Jovan, Feel like a kid again with community art, SportsMap, July 8, 2019
Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jovanabernathy. Instagram @TourismGymHtx. Facebook @TourismGymHtx
Last week, I gave my 9 recommendations to de-stressing. Because mindfulness has to be practiced every day, this week, I decided to try Hack #9 "Try Something New.". Because one of my super-powers is being at the right place at the right time, I just so happened to know of a community art project with some big time local artists.
Nicola Parente and Tami Moschioni, founders of Art Uniti, are creating a new art project and needed help. I have helped on community art projects before. My tourists and I worked closely with artist Carol Simon on "First Ward is Blooming." We painted up-cycled water bottles and cut them up like flowers. It was a perfect way to chill out after work. The project took 9 months to finish and when we did, we were all proud of our "flower garden." I had been looking for a new one since and I finally found it.
We met at the Baker Ripley Leonel Castillo Community Center in Near North Houston. I was so happy that 20 of my tourists came to help. Nicola briefs everyone first:
"This community project is called Snapshot. It is a permanent installation made of steel that will perfectly frame the view of downtown Houston. There will be a spot to stand and take your selfie with the perfectly framed skyline behind you. Hence, the name Snapshot. The frame will be sitting on top of a pedestal covered with tile designs. That is where you come in. Each one of you has a setting in front of you and a bowl of tiles. You are free to design anyway you want, just stay in the lines."
It was heads down as everyone set to making their tile designs. I decided to do a Blue Tile design to depict the first street signs of Houston. You know the ones that are found on the curbs. It seemed like a breeze until my fingers got too big.
I listened to the conversations being had. Everyone talked about when they were kids and how they loved to paint and color. Everyone was asking questions about the person next to them. The children, in the room, were all of a sudden treated like the authorities on creativity. But, not one was talking about bills or gossip. Mission accomplished. That is exactly what I wanted.
Mother and daughter, Bobby and Rachel had a gloomy week and felt inspired and uplifted while working on their tiles. Rachel was stressed about her pre-calculus final and wanted to spend time with her mom. Gillian and Tracey moved here a few months ago. Gillian works from home and sometimes can get lonely and Tracey travels a lot for work. Both were excited to do something different and get out.
Now, I bet you are thinking "What is Art Uniti?" Nicola feels that being creative is a huge component to mental health. It makes him happier and he wanted to share it with others. Because they know how important art is, Tami and Nicola founded Art Uniti to let the community get involved in creating the public art around Houston. The community is able to gift their art to the city with the help of respected artists like Tami and Nicola. Snapshot is the fifth project from Art Uniti. Maybe you've seen these projects around the city: Community Quilt at Kroger at Riverstone Sugarland, Color Bursting in Hermann Park, and Scaped Senses across from Moody Park. Unfortunately, community involvement on Snapshot is closed, but I will definitely keep you posted about new projects.
Snapshot Community workshop #2 at BakerRipley Castillo Community Center. Great turnout! The community created beautiful mosaic medallions that will be incorporated into the base of the permanent sculpture.
Snapshot Community workshop #1 at BakerRipley Castillo Community Center. Great turnout in creating beautiful mosaic medallions that will be incorporated into the base of the permanent sculpture. The next workshop is scheduled for June 29 from 10 to noon. See information below for details.
Art Uniti Team Nicola Parente and Tami Moschioni (Merrick) are recipients of the Support for Artists and Creative Individuals grant from Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and the City of Houston. The grant is for creating a permanent sculpture titled “Snapshot” in the Near Northside. “Snapshot” is a steel sculpture forming a sky frame capturing a view of Houston’s downtown skyline and creates a selfie photo op moment for visitors of the White Oak Bayou trail and the BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center. The sculpture site is located adjacent to the Castillo Community Center’s back parking lot near the bike trail entrance.
The sculpture represents the celebration of community in Near Northside and the connection to Houston's downtown. The sculpture base will be concrete with mosaic tiles. Tiles will be a wavy water pattern design with floating tile medallions. Community workshops led by the artists’ team will invite the public to create the medallion mosaics to be incorporated into the base. The water pattern winks at Houston's nickname "Bayou City" and the adjacent bayou.
The sky frame will be engineered and mounted to the concrete tiled base. It will be two intersecting arcs designed to capture the view of the Houston skyline and encourage visitors to snap a selfie of the sculpture, skyline and themselves.
A permanent plaque will provided thanking all sponsors, HAA and the City of Houston for generous funding and include a brief statement about the artistic content and selfie photo op moment.
Our project concludes with a fall celebration to unveil the sculpture including a ribbon cutting ceremony. All participants in the sculpture process, sponsors and the general public will be invited. Post celebration, visitors at the White Oak Bayou trails and the Castillo Community Center will continue to encounter the sculpture for many years to come. “Snapshot” will reflect the City of Houston’s intent to invest in this community and celebrate the residents of the Northside neighborhood.
Though we have secured partial funding for this project, we are looking for in-kind donations and additional funding to make this project a success. We are working with Precinct 2 for permissions and planning of a concrete pad leading visitors from the trail to the artwork.
SNAPSHOT sculpture project would not be possible without our partners, THANK YOU!
Snapshot is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance