"Three Quarter Time" Sculpture by Ben Woitena in Houston's Memorial Park

Updated on June 15, 2018
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Three Quarter Time sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park
Three Quarter Time sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
BluebonnetsBluebonnetsBluebonnets
Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets | Source
Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets | Source
Bluebonnets
Bluebonnets | Source

Memorial Park

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
  • Croquet
  • 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Map showing Memorial  ParkMemorial ParkJoggers in Memorial ParkThe riparian forest of Buffalo Bayou as it passes by Memorial Park in Houston, Texas
Map showing Memorial  Park
Map showing Memorial Park | Source
Memorial Park
Memorial Park | Source
Joggers in Memorial Park
Joggers in Memorial Park | Source
The riparian forest of Buffalo Bayou as it passes by Memorial Park in Houston, Texas
The riparian forest of Buffalo Bayou as it passes by Memorial Park in Houston, Texas | Source

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
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park | Source
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park | Source
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park
"Three Quarter Time" sculpture by Ben Woitena in Memorial Park | Source

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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Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Peggy Woods

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      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        4 days ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        Everyone driving through Memorial Park can easily see this sculpture by Ben Woitena. Taking the time to walk over to it and view it up close was fun. Sending good thoughts and angel blessings to you and your family today.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        4 days ago from sunny Florida

        How lucky that he found his way to Texas...otherwise he would have shared his talents somewhere else and you might not be sharing him and his works with us. Another place I need to visit. Once again hugs and blessings and love are headed your way via Angels. ps

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi C E Clark,

        There are loads of new trees in Memorial Park that have been planted to replace those that died several years ago during a severe drought. There are still enough old ones that still make it a very green space. I am so glad that there are a great number of parks here in the Houston metro area. Glad you found this sculpture to be of interest.

      • Au fait profile image

        C E Clark 

        4 weeks ago from North Texas

        Sounds like Memorial Park in Houston is huge with all kinds of activities available. I didn't know anyone played croquet anymore. It's nice to know it hasn't entirely gone by the way.

        Seems like most people hate green spaces and are doing everything they can to cover them with concrete and asphalt. If any trees manage to survive the onslaught they are often trimmed to where they look like feather dusters if there's anything left of them at all. Shade in this town where I live is hard to find.

        Trees are so useful, I can't think why so many people seem to hate them and do whatever they can to minimize them when they can't just rip them out.

        An interesting sculpture and a great article about it and its surroundings, as always.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi manatita44,

        I hope you feel better soon. Enjoy what is left of your weekend.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        6 weeks ago from london

        Lol.

        All right then, I,m feeling a little rough. When I'm better, I'll write some Flash for you.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi manatita44,

        Thanks for answering my question. I am not surprised that you give seminars regarding meditation and the spiritual life. Every poem you create along with your other writings focus on that. You are good at what you do!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        6 weeks ago from london

        Well Peggy.

        I talk to people about meditation and the spiritual life. Thanks for asking.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi manatita44,

        I am glad that you enjoyed learning about our Memorial Park as well as viewing this sculpture in the park. I can only imagine what the meaning might be regarding the same named park in Nairobi. What type of seminar did you give?

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        6 weeks ago from london

        A visionary man and a truly outstanding piece of Art.

        We have a Memorial Park here in Nairobi, Kenya and I gave a Seminar there this week.

        I'm happy that yours was named to honour good memories. This one wasn't.

        Have a great weekend Peggy.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Linda,

        Memorial Park is indeed one of our parks well worth a visit in Houston. This sculpture by Ben Woitena is a nice accent.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        6 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I like the sculpture, but I love the views of Memorial Park. It looks like a lovely place to explore. If I ever visit Houston I'll make sure that I visit the park.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Mary,

        It is fun getting to see sculptures and other works of art in public spaces. I am happy to be able to introduce you to these spaces in and around Houston.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Bill,

        Our city certainly does have a commitment to the arts and it shows!

        This time of year my husband and I pretty much stay in air conditioned spaces as much as possible. We just had one of the warmest months of May with a long sizzling summer to come. It is the opposite of what we experienced when we lived in Wisconsin and had to endure the long cold winter months. You are lucky that you have more moderate temperatures where you live.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        6 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        Peggy, you have made me know more about Houston and other areas in Texas. Even if I have visited Texas, I am not very familiar with these parks and works of art. I like sculptures in public places as they evoke depth and challenge the imagination.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        6 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        The weather in Houston would turn me off immediately, but I love the commitment the city has made to the Arts.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi FlourishAnyway,

        We do have loads of public art in our city and fortunately have many parks. We need those green spaces! When we first heard the name, Ima Hogg, we had the same reaction. She is thought of with great respect in this area.

        Her father was a governor of Texas. She was a major philanthropist as well as art collector. Her home named Bayou Bend including the furniture and art was donated to our Museum of Fine Arts. Her legacy has affected our city in many positive ways.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        6 weeks ago from USA

        You’re lucky to have a city with outdoor spaces that incorporate art and green areas like this. The name of that lady, Ima Hogg, made me chuckle. Poor gal.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Ann,

        This sculpture was created by Ben Woitena and the previous one you viewed was by Mac Whitney. They are similar only in that they are both steel sculptures, are painted red plus are situated in public parks. Glad you liked this one.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        6 weeks ago from SW England

        Another great sculpture! Is this by the same sculptor?

        Lovely place to visit.

        Ann

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        6 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Frank,

        It would be wonderful if you can plan a trip to see Houston with your very own eyes sometime. In the meantime I will be happy to show you much more of what is here. We enjoyed looking at the Three Quarter Time sculpture up close one day instead of just whizzing by it in our cars.

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 weeks ago from Shelton

        This is just as amazing as the leaning tower of metal... I really do have to plan a trip to Texas... can't live it through your eyes alone...:) thank you for sharing the experiences

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