FIRST WARD IS BLOOMING
Public Art Installation
My inspiration for First Ward is Blooming...
My inspiration for The First Ward is Blooming Art installation arose in early 2016 when I was creating a very colorful hanging art sculpture. The sculpture was made up of over 100 up-cycled plastic water bottles cut into flower shapes. The creation of the piece, motivated me to create a larger scale outdoor art installation that could be attached to a chain link fence and made up of approximately 10,000 plastic bottles. My goal was to invite the Houston Community to collect the bottles and create the art installation with me. I also wanted to make the project about educating the community on the environmental impact of plastic trash and the potential health hazards to humans, fish and animals.
In the Fall 2016, I met with Susannah Mitchell, the Director of The Washington Avenue Art District, to tell her about my idea and see if she knew of an organization that might be looking for a partnership. Coincidently, the First Ward Civic Council had just reached out to Susannah about finding an artist to do an installation to beautify their neighborhood so Suzannah introduced me to the FCC and after our meeting, a year long collaboration was started to create the First Ward is Blooming art installation at 1417 Houston Avenue.
We recruited the First Ward neighborhood and others in Houston to collect the bottles and also to attend twice a month work sessions at my art studio, to paint, cut and help install the 10,000 up-cycled water bottles needed to complete the art piece.
Volunteers from all ages and places joined together to work on the installation. We also brought the project to park gatherings and art festivals to get everyone involved. The Houston Chronicle and KTRH news came to work sessions and ran stories on First Ward is Blooming project to help us get more volunteers. We also partnered with Keep Houston Beautiful who helped us get several large-scale groups of youths and corporate employees to volunteer. The First Ward Civic Council funded a significant portion of the project from a generous donation given to them from BP. The Deal Company, JCC of Houston, West Houston Lexus, HEB and Capgemini all provided in kind donations. In November 2017, First Ward is Blooming received a Certificate of Recognition from the Keep Houston Beautiful Mayor’s Award.
The location of the 150 foot fence at 1417 Houston Avenue was chosen because it is on a major artery street into and out of downtown that has lots of vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The colorful garden was completed in early 2018 and is a permanent installation on the fence representing emergence, growth, change and the beauty of the Houston First Ward neighborhood.