Discovery Green
Art Lab

A public art incubator in Houston

Art Lab is a pilot program that aims to reshape the landscape of public art in Houston by supporting local artists, fostering diversity and spurring innovation within our community.

 

Through mentorship and hands-on experience, Art Lab will empower creatives in the Greater Houston area who aspire to expand their professional practice into large scale, three-dimensional, interactive public art projects. Artists will gain the practical skills and resources necessary to realize capital-intensive projects that express our region’s diverse culture and values.

Art Lab Goals

  • Create a more just and equitable landscape for Houston artists in the public art realm
  • Establish Houston’s reputation as a groundbreaking community for highly interactive temporary public art
  • Elevate the voices, ideas, and visions of artists from Houston onto the national public art landscape
 

The team of mentors for Art Lab includes: Art Lab’s annual “Lead Artist”, Jen Lewin, who is commissioned by Discovery Green to create its annual winter art installation, Weingarten Art Group, co-curators and co-administrators for Discovery Green’s public art program since 2014 and for Art Lab, and Metalab, a prominent Houston-based architecture and design firm with an extensive public art track record. 

Art Lab is a pilot program funded by an anonymous national foundation.

The application period is open until July 14. Two artist fellows will be selected for the inaugural year of Art Lab, which runs September 3, 2024 through January 31, 2025.

Chosen artists will receive an honorarium of $4,500 for participation and for development of a design proposal.

At the completion of the project, fellows will be invited to submit proposals for a potential 2025 art installation at Discovery Green.

“Art Lab is a groundbreaking program for Discovery Green and Houston. Our goal is to keep connecting Houstonians and visitors with thought-provoking artworks, while creating opportunities for talented artists in our own backyard.”

Art Lab is open to those over 21 years of age residing and working in the Greater Houston area (within a 75-mile radius of central Houston) who:

  • Can demonstrate professional experience as an artist, architect, or designer. Prior public art experience is not required
  • Express a strong interest in public art, particularly in developing temporary projects for audiences at Discovery Green
  • Can commit to participating in-person in Art Lab activities and meetings with Art Lab mentors in Houston on a regular basis (1-2 times weekly during business hours) from September 2024 to January 2025, with breaks during the holidays
  • Are available to travel to the Lead Artist, Jen Lewin’s studio in Brooklyn, New York September 23-25, 2024
  • Priority will be given to artists who are underrepresented in this field

Please read the Request for Qualifications in its entirety before applying. Questions can be sent to ady@weingartenartgroup.com.

Meet the inaugural Art Lab Lead Artist:

Jen Lewin

Jen Lewin is a widely respected public artist based in Brooklyn known for her interactive light landscapes using innovative technologies. Over her nearly 30-year career, Lewin has honed her artistic and technical expertise to design and fabricate large-scale interactive public sculptures across the world, both temporary and permanent, that encourage community interaction and play. Her design “The Other,” will be featured at The Man Pavilion in 2024’s Burning Man celebration.

Her work unites nature and technology to create connected human experiences and underscores the ripple effects that individuals have on their community and habitat. With experience in mentoring artists, Lewin is exceptionally suited to serve as the inaugural Lead Artist and mentor for Art Lab. Lewin’s winter art installation at Discovery Green, debuting in November 2024, will serve as a real-life example and hands-on learning experience for the chosen artists.

A black and white portrait of Jen Lewin in her art studio

A call for art supporters: PRISM

PRISM members invest in the park and Houston artists, musicians, and other professional creatives.

You and a guest will enjoy great benefits, plus special invitations to:

  • behind-the-scenes receptions 
  • private art collections
  • artists’ studio tours
  • backstage tours
  • culinary experiences, and more

Join by August 1, 2024 and be recognized as a founding member – a BEACON.