New Monuments for New Cities

Austin is one of five cities participating in New Monuments for New Cities. This public art program is sponsored by the High Line Network, which started with The High Line in New York City (one of my favorite destinations there) and has now expanded to include projects in over 16 North American cities. Austin’s Waller Creek restoration is part of the High Line Network of urban parks.

Each city—Austin, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, and New York—chose five artists to ponder these questions: What should a contemporary monument look like? Who deserves to go up on a pedestal? Should there be a pedestal at all? Large metal panels of the 25 commissioned artworks are being exhibited in each city. Here in Austin, the panels are installed on a fence near Red River and 12th Street, where Waller Creek flows through the currently-closed Waterloo Park. This exhibition will be on display through May 31.

On a recent chilly Saturday morning, I attended the exhibit’s opening reception at Symphony Square. Displays about Waller Creek Conservancy and their Waller Creek revitalization project were set up around the amphitheater there. Our little tour group strolled along Red River Street to view the artwork and to hear artists for three of the Austin pieces talk about their vision of New Monuments for New Cities.

Reclaimed Water—CC’d – Nicole Awai

Spaces – Teruko Nemura and Rachel Alex Crist

Monument to Hypermodern Beauty, Bette from Captivating Not Captive – Denise Prince

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