Arts & Culture

Public Art In The Suburbs: It Can Happen

When you want to see art in Houston, it’s often inside Loop 610. But one suburb south of Houston is working to change that.

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A light drizzle didn't stop a small crowd of people from gathering in the parking lot of the Grand Cornerstone Development in Pearland on Wednesday. To the side, ten objects, each 4 feet in height, stood under white sheets. On cue, the sheets were yanked off to reveal pear-shaped fiberglass sculptures. They're identical in size, but painted in incredibly different styles by local artists. One is covered in wildflowers. Another has stars and stripes with the words, "Never Forget" written on the side.

The pears will eventually be placed outdoors across the city, which may surprise some. "From what I can see, some suburban areas haven't prioritized public art financially," says Sara Kellner, Director of Civic Art and Design at the Houston Arts Alliance. "So I definitely applaud places like Pearland that are making efforts to bring more public art into their communities."

Kellner says public art does more than beautify. It creates a sense of community connection and brands an area, which is what Pearland's Convention and Visitors Bureau's Kim Sinistore intended when the project was launched over the summer. "Because we have such a diversity of cultures here, we're now at a point where art is on the high list of what people would like to experience," Sinistore says. The city plans to install the “Pear-Scape” project within a month or so.

 

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