Art can be many things to many different people. Art is best when it is shared among people and, better yet, created by the community.
Art can also be a great opportunity for the ultimate selfie snapshot. Enter Snapshot Sculpture, the latest project from local artists Tami Moschioni and Nicola Parente.
The accomplished artists partnered to form Art Uniti in 2017 with a focus on civic art projects collaborating with other creative Houston artists in an interactive practice.
The duo has partnered once again to create a dynamic, colorful and interactive art sculpture permanently located in the historic Near Northside. “Snapshot” is a steel sculpture by metal craftsman Spencer J. Elliott, forming a sky frame that captures a view of Houston’s beautiful downtown skyline and creates a selfie photo-op moment for visitors along the White Oak Bayou trail. The sculpture is located at 2101 South St., adjacent to the BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center near the bike trail entrance.
“Snapshot” was revealed in a public ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday. Adrian Garcia, the Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 2, welcomed the gathering of community members as well as arts and community organizations. Garcia spoke of the bonds art creates in a community like the historic Near Northside.
Other speakers included Karla Cisneros, the Houston City Council member for District H; Rebecca Reyna, director of the Greater Northside Management District; and Bolivar Fraga, senior community engagement developer for BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center. Moschioni and Parente concluded and led the crowd for the first group photos with “Snapshot.”
The sculpture represents the celebration of community and the connection to Houston’s downtown from the Near Northside neighborhood. The concrete sculpture base is decorated with mosaic-tiled medallions made up of more than 10,000 tiny colorful tiles. The unique mosaic designs on each of the 108 medallions were created by families within the community at workshops led by the artists at the community center. Blue background tile patterns are symbolic of water. The blue tile colors wink at Houston’s “Bayou City” nickname and the adjacent White Oak Bayou.
The community is encouraged to snap a selfie photo with the sculpture framing the Houston skyline in the background and posting on social media using the hashtag #snapshotsculpture.
“Snapshot” reflects Houston’s intent to invest in complete communities and celebrate the residents of the Northside neighborhood. The sculpture will also was featured on the Tour de Northside bike ride on Nov. 9.
“Snapshot” was funded in part by the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance along with and the Greater Northside Management District. Project partners included BakerRipley Leonel Castillo Community Center, the Houston Parks Board, Cardno Structural Engineering, Impact Stone, La Nova Tile, Historic Near Northside Civic Club along with Fiscal Sponsorship through Fresh Arts.
Moschioni and Parente’s previous community civic art projects include “Color Bursting Hermann Park” and “Scaped Senses.”
For more information on this project, visit ArtUniti.com. Visiting “Snapshot” in person is an easy stop on your way to all the downtown art events this weekend. It also will provide an opportunity to take a selfie.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.