Arts

Art on the Houston Trails — Buffalo Bayou Gets Another Striking Addition Near UH-Downtown

This Mural Has Gone to the Birds

BY // 03.12.21
photography Anthony Rathbun, Houston Parks Board

The ever growing collection of public art installations along the 10-mile stretch of Buffalo Bayou is gaining a splendid addition as artists work to complete a 223-foot long mural along the retaining wall at the confluence of White Oak and Buffalo Bayous.

Artist Jane Kim, cofounder of Ink Dwell  studio in San Francisco, has created the larger than life images of birds that live along the meandering bayou. Six species represented in both their spring breeding plumage and their non-breeding plumage are presented against a backdrop of Houston’s bayou system.

The installation, titled Confluence, can be enjoyed not only by cyclists, pedestrians, students, and commuters who use the trail daily but also by nearby office buildings and the University of Houston-Downtown campus, which have views to the mural.

Confluence in progress, Photo credit Anthony Rathbun, Houston Parks Board (1) (Photo by Anthony Rathbun, Houston Parks Board)
‘Confluence,’ the public art installation along Houston’s Buffalo Bayou is expected to be completed by the Ink Dwell team within several weeks. (Photo by Anthony Rathbun, Houston Parks Board)

The welcome addition to the landscape is a product of the public/private partnership between City of Houston and Harris County, along with voters and philanthropists with a particular thanks to Tom and Laura Bacon, whose support has made the mural possible.

“This mural is about celebrating Bayou Greenways and discovering Houston’s amazing position in the center of North America’s largest migratory flyway,” Laura Bacon says in a statement. “One day, Houston will be known as the only major city in America where you can eat at an award-winning restaurant on Saturday night, stay in a wonderful hotel, and see 128 species of birds before noon on the following morning.”

The project was announced on Friday by the the Houston Parks Board, which commissioned the work, and by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, which is hosting the mural. Houston Audubon was tapped to provide ornithological expertise and programing direction. More art will be unveiled over the next four weeks.

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Confluence is an ideal example of Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s ongoing commitment to public art,”  Anne Olson, president of Buffalo Bayou Partnership says in the statement. “Ink Dwell studio’s depiction of Houston’s native birds provides a beautiful contrast to the urban character of this downtown site.”

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