Arts & Culture

At Long Last, A Houston Artist Gets His Commission

After months of a heated public controversy, Ed Wilson has the green light to start on his sculpture for the George R. Brown Convention Center’s new lobby.

Wilson’s 60-foot steel sculpture will suspend from the GRB’s newly-renovated lobby next year. It will require a special machine just for creating the clouds and birds. Source: Bruce Bennett

By now, the dispute surrounding a local artist’s commission for the GRB is no secret within the arts community.

On Friday, Ed Wilson signed the contract and will be getting to work soon.

“The ink is dry and Mr. Wilson is celebrating,” said Jonathan Glus with the the Houston Arts Alliance.

It all started in November, when Ed Wilson received the draft of a contract that would pay him $830,000 to build a massive sculpture to hang in the lobby. Because of a drawn-out disagreement among the committees about the selection and approval process, the offer was rescinded.

He was then told he’d have to put himself back into the running before a final decision was made.

It caused quite a row within the arts community, but Glus says there’s an important takeaway from all this.

“A reminder that we live in a city where artistry and artists are taken very seriously. Art in public space is taken very seriously, civic dialogue is important, and all of that has to be taken into consideration during any kind of commissioning process,” Glus said. 

The work is expected to be completed by next year.




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