"Three Quarter Time" Sculpture by Ben Woitena in Houston's Memorial Park
Houston's Memorial Park is the site of a monumental red-painted steel sculpture. It is located on an esplanade. If heading west on Memorial Drive, look to the left to see the sculpture when you spot the overhead signs directing one to the West Loop and Woodway or staying on Memorial Drive.
My husband and I had passed it for many years in our car. One day we decided to get a closer look at the abstract form. Parking our car we walked over to the grassy area and ended up walking all around the sculpture. Its appearance is different from every angle. No doubt that was the intent of its sculptor, Ben Woitena.
The name of the sculpture is Three Quarter Time. Mr. Woitena created it in 1975 and it has been situated in Memorial Park since 1984. This three-dimensional figure is owned by the City of Houston. It is one of many public art pieces on display in our fine city. The dimensions are listed as 193" X 180" X 324". Restoration of this welded steel composition took place in 1996.
The field in which Three Quarter Time is placed is ablaze with blooming bluebonnets each spring. The bright red sculpture with the Texas state flower at its base seems even more beautiful at that time of year.
In the year 1917, thousands of acres were used just west of downtown Houston as a training base for soldiers being prepared to enter the First World War. It was called Camp Logan. After Camp Logan was closed some of that land was acquired by the City of Houston for a park. Memorial Park was named in honor of the many soldiers who had trained in that area.
This huge park has been popular with residents as well as visitors to our city for many years. It has a huge number of amenities. Some of these include the following:
- 18-hole public golf course and clubhouse
- Swimming pool and fitness center
- Tennis courts
- Sand volleyball courts
- Softball and baseball fields
- Soccer and rugby field
- Flag football field
- Miles of trails for cycling and skating
- Walking and jogging trail
- Playground for children
- Picnic tables and restrooms
- Location of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center
Several years ago a severe drought in Houston caused many of the beautiful old trees in the park to perish. New plans are underway to replace many of those trees and continue to make improvements to this well used city park.
It is wonderful that green spaces like this exist in an ever-growing populated city such as Houston. Thanks to the stewardship of people like Ima Hogg as well as others in the past, plus the efforts of people in the Memorial Park Conservancy today, Memorial Park should be a place for leisure time activities and a natural respite for people to unwind and enjoy nature long into the future.
Look at the map below. Where the road through Memorial Park bisects heading towards the 610 Loop is where you will find the Three Quarter Time sculpture situated between Memorial Drive to the north and Woodway Drive on the south.
Artist Ben Woitena
Ben Woitena came from a parochial school educational background as a youngster. He got his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas Austin in 1964 and his master's degree in 1970 from the University of California.
What brought him to our city was a job offer at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. He headed the sculpture department and taught for 27 years at what became the Glassell School of Art.
Mr. Woitena also creates figurative sculptures, carvings, mixed media, and drawings. He is well known and respected and Ben Woitena's art is in many museums and private as well as public collections.
To see more of his sculptural art in our metro area, head on over to Bush Intercontinental Airport. At Terminal E you will find his Time Line sculpture. Mirage II is another creation of his in the median of Lake Woodland Drive in The Woodlands, Texas. The private Kinkaid School here in Houston has his Kinkaid School Centennial Sculpture.
To view more of the type of art created by Ben Woitena click here.
Different Views of "Three Quarter Time"Click thumbnail to view full-size
Public Art in Houston
Our City of Houston seems to celebrate the arts. We have numerous sculptures as well as other artistic expressions of public art spread throughout our metropolis. Some of them are beautiful in my opinion and others simply make me smile for one reason or another.
Location of Memorial Park in Houston, Texas
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© 2018 Peggy Woods