Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Saw Today At the Site

Always something new at 1002 Washington Avenue and this morning was no exception. Arrived at 10:45 to see the A&E Graphics van leaving the parking lot. I rolled down my window to say thank you. I knew they'd just installed one of my text walls. I missed the entire installation for an early morning appointment with my favorite physical therapist who made those tight neck muscles bend to her will for my well being. An appointment with her and a really good rain over most of Houston made for the beginning of a really nice birthday. Plus all those Facebook messages that keep popping up on my iPhone. Facebook has totally changed folks' birthdays, don't you think? In a good way. But more about this very special building.
Walked into the lobby, which by the way, is very cold. The air conditioning sure is working. Real folks at the cashier's windows involved in what I assume are real transactions. I think I see some dollar bills being counted there.
Into the elevator headed for level 3 and it was terrific to see that wall for real. At last. After all the scheduling delays because the wall had to be repainted with semi-gloss and then it had to dry and then the size of the wall paper was not exactly right. But now, it's really fine. Looks just as we imagined and planned.
That wall represents hours and hours of time spent listening to plan reviewers and inspectors interact with architects, engineers and designers at the building on Main just south of Westheimer. Last spring, I filled entire yellow legal pads with transcriptions of real conversations, then got it all on a lengthy word document and finally edited it to phrases and expressions that best exemplify what happens when the city takes a look at a set of plans. Had the text vetted by the very folks who use this 'language' and after hearing a few chuckles, I knew it'd be 'good to go', as they say.
This morning there were real people sitting in the reception area on level 3, right in front on Gonozo's cityscape mural.
Couldn't resist relooking at the entire building. Went to level 4 to see Geoff Winningham's photo mural on metal. Reflection of UH Downtown main campus building in ripples along Buffalo Bayou. Two folks fishing in the image too.
Just inside the doors to the administration offices is another text intervention. This one is bar code that reads GREEN. Hand made with many different types of salvaged and recycled local woods by Bob Card and installed by Daniel Adame, this piece is both understated and rich in detail. Each strip of wood is stamped with its provenance.
The installation of Dick Wray's tower panels by Charles Masterson and his crew continues. More photos by Beth Collins Wray coming soon.
Suffice it to say that it's hard to let go of this building. But, we artists don't have to let go quite yet. There's still a reception in the works, when we will all get together to celebrate a project unique in Houston. Date and time to be announced. In the meantime, I need to get those artist plaques ordered and installed and finish the attendant paperwork.
Thanks to all. We're almost 'good to go.'