February 1, 2019

A Decade of Discovery-Temporary Art Exhibits at Discovery Green®

A Decade of Discovery-Temporary Art Exhibits at Discovery Green®

Traditional museums house exhibits that are made to be seen, not touched. Here at Discovery Green, our art exhibits encourage exploration for the senses, and over the past decade, we have had the privilege of bringing a variety of art and artists to the park.

The art chosen for Discovery Green always offers qualities consistent to our mission. In addition to the permanent pieces like Monument au Fantome (Monument to the Phantom) on Avenida de las Americas, and Synchronicity of Color next to Hess Patio Deck, the rotation of temporary art exhibits brings color, light and fresh perspectives to the park and its patrons. The art exhibits are engaging, interactive and accessible to all.

Over the past 10 years, we have been proud to work with artists from around the world. Below are some of the special exhibits that have added to Discovery Green’s vibrant art culture.

Dan Phillips, Recycled Gazebo, 2008-2009
Dan Phillips has developed a visionary approach for creating beautiful structures out of discarded materials made him a perfect choice to create the first temporary work for Discovery Green. The Recycled Gazebo was made of shards of mirrors that created a multifaceted reflective surface for the gazebo topped with a hutched roof of old license plates. Perched on the edge of Kinder Lake, the Gazebo created an exquisite space to share special moments.  

David Graeve, Annual Winter Installation, 2008-2014

David Graeve’s internally lit photographic balloons were suspended from Discovery Green oak trees, creating an iconic annual installation. David Graeve is a local Houston artist who shows his light-based work internationally.

Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for a Cooler Planet, 2009

Fifty large globes (5 feet wide and more than 7 feet tall) were created by artists from around the world, each showing a solution to global warming.

Video Tree, 2009-2012

The late Andy Mann was a pioneer of the video art movement; his video Christmas tree was an annual display in downtown Houston. The Video Tree was reimagined for Discovery Green by a team of artists, featuring original video content by Andy Mann, flipped on vertical screens to become mirror images, reflecting a layer of color and movement on Kinder Lake.

Multiple Artists, Light as Air, 2009

Light as Air featured inflatable sculptures by Susan Robb, David Graeve, Pat Oleszko and Sharon Engelstein. By turns whimsical, comical, and dramatic, the sculptures shared the process of capturing and containing air to engage Discovery Green visitors.

Architects of Air, Exxopolis, 2013

Inspired by natural geometry and Islamic architecture, Exxopolis delighted Discovery Green visitors with light, color, and air. British firm Architects of Air brought the large inflatable structure to the park to celebrate Discovery Green’s fifth birthday.

Architects of Air, Miracoco, 2014

Inspired by the Lotus Temple in India, Miracoco was created by Architects of Air, a British artistic collaborative. Visitors entered a giant inflatable structure to experience a maze of winding paths and soaring domes designed to “generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and color.” The incredible exhibit was the size of half a football field and rose 30 feet in the air.

Jorge Marin, Wings of the City, 2014-2015

A travelling installation of nine bronze winged sculptures by Mexican artist Jorge Marín visited Discovery Green, each one depicting a different emotion, acting as guardians of the city.

Chanson d’Eau, Maravilloso!, 2015

Floating, glowing flowers on Kinder Lake revealed surprises on the inside during the run of Maravilloso! Created by Belgian artistic company Chanson d’Eau, the performance featured original ethereal music and choreography, with dancers manipulating the petals as an extension of the dance. Houston’s own Karen Stokes Dance Company performed Drench, a site-specific work that was held in Discovery Green’s fountain and model boat basin to start the event. Houston artists Balushka and Kyle Fu led public workshops to create hundreds of paper flowers used for a photo wall at the performances.  

Bruce Munro, Field of Light, 2015-2016

British artist Bruce Munro employed a swath of fiber optic light to create a Field of Light at Discovery Green. More than 4,500 radiant, frosted glass spheres atop slender stems connected by illuminated fiber optics changed colors in a gentle wave, creating a peaceful landscape under the live oaks.

Esrawe + Cadena,Los Trompos, 2015-2016

In a swirl of color and Mexico City designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena brought Los Trompos (The Tops) to Discovery Green. Inspired by the child’s toy, the installation featured twenty 3D structures made of brilliantly colored cords that also doubled as seating. When two or more people work together, the tops would spin. the installation was enjoyed by participants and viewers as the spinning tops created a kaleidoscope of color in the park.

Christopher Schardt, Firmament, 2016-2017

Christopher Schardt’s Firmament, a much-loved art installation created for Burning Man, was installed on the Sarofim Picnic Lawn, encouraging park visitors to gather under the 52-foot wide, canopy of 21,600 LED lights, suspended from a 42-foot high aluminum tower. A classical music score was synchronized to the dancing images of light above.

TILT, Enchanted Promenade, 2016-2017

TILT, a French light art and design studio, brought the magical florals of Enchanted Promenade to Discovery Green. Soaring more than 19 feet high, the Enchanted Promenade’s giant peony bouquets came to life through color-changing LED lighting. Ethereal yet strong, the Enchanted Promenade was viewed by more than 1.8 million as it was installed throughout Super Bowl LIVE.

Color Condition, Arcade, 2017

Texas-based artistic duo Sunny Sliger and Marianne Newsom of The Color Condition added splashes of color to Discovery Green, hanging a series of dynamic streamer sculptures that were activated by wind shimmering and swaying any time a breeze blows. Arcade was installed in Discovery Green and Avenida Houston just before Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. The artists returned with a new work, Houston Strong, inspired by Houstonians response to the storm.

Daily tous les jours, Hello Trees!, 2017-2018

Hello, Trees! A Walking Serenade ran the length of the Brown Foundation Promenade and combined light energy and natural sounds to become song. The installation from the Montreal-based daily tours les jours was interactive, encouraging guests to speak into a funnel, which then became a beam of light that travel along archways. As the words flowed down the path, they became more and more songlike.

Lucion, moonGarden, 2018

Lucion, an artistic collaborative from Montreal, brought 22 massive illuminated inflatable spheres to Discovery Green for a new moon landing. The color-changing spheres shared stories of life in Houston through moving shadow theaters installed in 11 of the globes. Other globes were interactive, allowing the audience to see their image cast on the exterior of the spheres.

CocoLab, GUST, 2018-2019   
GUST: Celebrating a Decade of Discovery, is a kinetic field of color along the park’s Brown Foundation Promenade. Cocolab, the creators of Gust from Mexico City, were inspired by their visit to Discovery Green to base this commissioned art work on a simple, joyful toy, the pinwheel. GUST is comprised of 1,800 pinwheels that reflect the color of the sky at sunset and illuminated by lights that react to the direction and intensity of the wind. Visitors can “become the wind” by utilizing blowing stations to activate the sound and motion of the pinwheels.

A Decade of Discovery-Temporary Art Exhibits at Discovery Green®