Houston's Public-Art Mecca Launches New Mentorship Program for Budding Artists

Houston's Public-Art Mecca Launches New Mentorship Program for Budding Artists

'Enchanted Promenade' by TILT (2016)

KNOWN NATIONALLY AS a hub for immersive public art, Discovery Green Conservancy has launched Art Lab, a mentorship program for underrepresented artists. It will provide skills and resources to help them create larger scale and interactive pieces, specifically sculptural and outdoor ones like those for which the Downtown park has become known.

Art Lab will award two Houston artists with an apprenticeship, practicum and honorarium of $4,500. They'll each work with a team of mentors that includes Brooklyn-based artist-engineer Jen Lewin, who has been commissioned by Discovery Green to create a new site-specific installation in the park this winter. The winning artists will work with her on the design, build and installation, gaining valuable experience and insights.

Weingarten Art Group and architecture and design firm Metalab will also play roles in mentoring the winning artists, who will submit proposals for their own pop-up art installation at Discovery Green. Since opening in 2008, the park has displayed and hosted nearly 30 temporary exhibits, and it also showcases permanent and traveling works from globally celebrated artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Jim Dine, Margo Sawyer and Doug Hollis. It's become a model for how to incorporate art within public green spaces.

“Public art has been at the heart of Discovery Green since its inception 16 years ago, and the park has grown into an open-air gallery with a world-class permanent collection and remarkable temporary installations that draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year,” said Discovery Green Conservancy President Kathryn Lott in a statement. “Our goal with Art Lab is to keep connecting Houstonians and visitors to inspiring and thought-provoking works while creating opportunities for the incredibly talented artists in our own backyard.”

Applications for Art Lab are open now for artists, architects and designers who live within 75 miles of central Houston. The application process closes July 14, and selected artists will be announced in August, with the program beginning in September.

Jen Lewin (photo by Gabriel Hutchinson)

'Solstice' by Studio Iregular (2023)

'Earth Day Labyrinth' by Reginald Adams (2022)

'Cool Globes' by collection of international artists responding to climate change (2009)

'House of Cards' by OGE Group featuring work by 20 Houston artists (2020)

'Luminaria' by Architects of Air (2013)

'Firmament' by Christopher Schardt (2016)

'Monuments' by Craig Walsh (2020)

'Wings of the City' by Jorge Marin (2013)

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