Fashion / Shopping

To the Shopping Moon and Back — River Oaks District Celebrates the Apollo 11 Anniversary With Stunning Installation

Skywaves is Unlike Anything You've Quite Seen Before

BY // 07.31.19

Many, many moons ago, the United States space program made a giant leap for mankind. Houston put a man on the moon, and the American flag was planted to mark a momentous occasion that reverberated far beyond the space race.

It’s been 50 years since the epic moon landing, and while the official anniversary date fell on July 16, a new remarkable way to celebrate is available.

River Oaks District has teamed up with the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston to honor the lunar landing in spectacular fashion.

A stunning installation called Skywaves is on display at the District. It’s a carefully crafted collaboration between the internationally renowned fine arts museum and the luxury shopping mecca.

Skywaves weaves through the air space above the mixed-use development, giving Houstonians even more reason to visit River Oaks District. As if the top restaurants (including buzzy newcomers MAD, Loch Bar and Ouzo Bay), unmatched shopping and iPic move palace weren’t enough reason.

The creative, site-specific installation was inspired by the Mylar space blankets that NASA developed (an incredible breakthrough for 1964) and is made out of 25,000 square feet of the material.

Skywaves is composed of four separate, striking 50-foot quadrants. Each was carefully crafted from more than 1,000 hand-cut flags, an inspired homage to the U.S. flag Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong planted on the moon after setting up Tranquility Base. Four distinct sections are tethered to building hang points via thin steel cables.

skywaves 5
Skywaves is a gorgeous addition to River Oaks District.

This jaw-dropping, multi-layered scene was created by a team of 15 people working tirelessly and meticulously over more than 2,400 hours.

The reflective installation will constantly change in its interaction with light and air, and its wave-like patterns will create the illusion that the piece is floating in the sky. Skywaves is simultaneously a literal and figurative reference point, illustrating the form and function of this cultural touchstone in a most unique way.

It will be on display for three months, giving everyone a chance to see it.

“We saw this as an opportunity to blend the many parallels in the art and fashion worlds with human exploration,” says Rosalind Schurgin, CEO of Festival Companies, which manages River Oaks District.

“Witnessing the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s ability to transfer key elements from varying creative disciplines to achieve these stunning, immersive results has truly been an incredible experience.”

This is one out-of-this-world union.

“The opportunity to partner with the River Oaks District in producing a dynamic, experiential celebration of the lunar landing’s 50th anniversary has been an honor,” says Kent Michael Smith, CAMH director of communications and marketing.

“Contemporary Arts Museum Houston — celebrating its own milestone of 70 years this year — has a proud and vibrant history of cultural and community partnerships across the Greater Houston area. It is perpetually rewarding to find new and engaging ways to bring the creative process out of the museum galleries and into the community we call home.”

Skywaves also pays tribute to another pivotal day in space exploration. President John F. Kennedy delivered a triumphant speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962. The prominent declaration signaled to the public the United States’ world-changing endeavor to put a man on the moon before 1970.

“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too,” JFK famously said.

Skywaves will be on display through mid-October, a shimmering symbol of what mankind can accomplish.

For more information on River Oaks District and everything that is happening there (art and otherwise), click here.

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