“Houston” Sculpture by Mac Whitney Located in Houston, Texas
Steel Sculpture Titled "Houston"
The "Houston" sculpture created by artist Mac Whitney is located in Stude Park near Studemont street here in Houston, Texas. It is installed along the White Oak Bayou where there are hiking and biking trails that extend for 7.4 miles.
- This sculpture consists of ¾ inch steel that stands about 50 feet tall by 25 feet wide at its widest dimension.
- Its weight comes in around 50,000 pounds!
- It is painted a vivid shade of red. At times it has been the target for graffiti but on the day of our visit, it was graffiti free. It would be wonderful if it could remain that way!
It is impressive from all angles, and it adds nicely to the other public art in Houston.
My hubby and I have noticed this imposing red sculpture for years as we have driven from downtown Houston to the western suburbs where we live. Until recently we have only seen glimpses of it from Interstate 10. Yesterday as we were leaving the downtown area we decided that we would take a detour off of the Interstate highway and see if we could get a closer look at this sculptural creation. It was a beautiful day outside with temperatures in the low 70's, and many people were using the park for play, picnicking and exercise.
Artist Mac Whitney
This striking sculpture titled "Houston" was commissioned in 1979 by the City of Houston. It was completed in 1981 and was installed on land next to a bayou in 1982.
Mac Whitney was born in Kansas and attended one year of schooling at the College of Emporia. He graduated with his bachelor of arts degree from the Kansas State Teachers College. From Kansas University he matriculated with his master's degree in fine arts in 1968.
Mac Whitney taught art in Illinois for one year and has lived in Texas since 1969. His art studio is in Ovilla, Texas which is a small incorporated town within the city limits of Dallas.
Mr. Whitney has had numerous one-person exhibits in Texas and beyond. His works of art grace numerous museums as well as public places. We are lucky to have one of his massive steel sculptures gracing a park here in Houston.
White Oak Bayou
The watershed of White Oak Bayou drains about 111 square miles of the northwestern parts of our metropolitan area. The bayou and its tributaries generally flow in a southeastern direction from the northwest. They eventually join up with Buffalo Bayou near downtown Houston.
Much of the Houston area is very flat. These natural bayous function as a drainage system. Generally speaking they keep our city from being flooded. Occasionally with heavy downpours they sometimes overflow their banks. The local news media keeps us apprised of the flood stage. This is particularly important for the residents who live near the banks of these bayous.
Stude Park and Community Center
There is a multi-use community center located in Stude Park. The sculpture is situated in the park behind the community center. When open for business the community center offers classes ranging from art to aerobics as well as after-school enrichment programs. The park includes an indoor gym as well as a swimming pool, sports fields and more.
Families were having fun watching their children play on the playground equipment located next to the community center on the day of our visit. A few picnic tables are available for use at this location which were also being utilized.
Bike racks are located in front of the community center where bicycles can be rented for use along the paved pathways. Access to the hiking and biking trails along the bayou is available from this site as well as numerous other places.
Stude Park Mural
The photos above show a mural that is affixed to the red-brick Stude Community Center building. Artist Marsha Dorsey Outlaw designed and children executed this mural. It was funded by other entities.
The mural is an artistic capture of the community center building as well as the surrounding area including the "Houston" sculpture. It also features vehicles along Interstate 10 with some of downtown Houston buildings in the background.
A bench next to the children's playground serves as another unique piece of art.
Location of the "Houston" Sculpture at Stude Community Center and Park
Have you ever seen this sculpture by Mac Whitney in Houston?
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© 2018 Peggy Woods