Blue Panels on Lamar Underpass

There is a lively discussion on HerDomain about those crazy blue panels on Lamar. Here is a summary of the postings:

It was an art project approved by the Austin Art in Public Places (AIPP) committee. The art is called “Moments” created by artist Carl Trominski and cost $45,000 using hotel/bed tax money from the city. This was not the artist’s original concept. The Railroad Commission was supposed to provide electricity for blue lighting under the bridge and the walls were to be painted blue and green but time and money ran out. The concept for the project was to seem like you were going under water when you drove under the bridge. The artist was not pleased with the results and the art will be on exhibit for eight years. Most folks thought the panels were “solar panels.” I have yet to find one person who likes this public art. Please comment if you like it or write the city about why $45,000 of our tax money went to this project.

In contrast, the “Fair Sailing Tall Boy” mural painted in the middle of the under-pass was created by Mary Boyd whose 17 year-old son Ivan was killed at that intersection by a drunk driver. She was arrested when she first put up the mural but her case was “lost” in the court system. At one point a city contractor painted over the mural by mistake but she soon put the mural back up. She also planted wildflowers in the cracks of the sidewalk.

1 Comment so far

  1. wixlet (unregistered) on January 20th, 2005 @ 9:53 am


    as an artist and a person who generally supports public artworks, the blue panels just don’t do it for me. it’s a shame that the artist’s vision wasn’t fully realized, but i can’t see how the work that IS there could have cost $45k. it looks incomplete, and it detracts from the underpass (though i didn’t realize such a thing was possible) rather than enhancing it or providing the audience with a new experience or something to consider.

    austin doesn’t seem to have much of a place for high-concept art. it seems to me that a better use for the ‘real estate’ at the underpass would be a large-scale mural or work by graffitti artists (artists, not random taggers).

    mary boyd’s mural is one of my favorite things about austin.

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