As Houston emerges as an international destination for commerce and entertainment, civic art is beginning to appear throughout the City. Through recent public and private partnerships promoting civic art, Houston is moving toward becoming an international art tourism destination and is beginning to be recognized as a magnet for culture and education.
The Upper Kirby Public Arts Initiative aims to expand on that momentum by planning, implementing and maintaining public art in strategic, highly visible locations throughout the District. The Upper Kirby area has a rich and diverse cultural history. It is time that our public spaces speak to that identity and express it on a local, regional and national level.
The Surls on Kirby Project
About the Artist
The Upper Kirby District Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is coordinating a monumental public art installation that will place an original James Surls sculpture entitled, Tree & Three Flowers in the Kirby Drive median just south of Westheimer Road.
Seen by over 50,000 cars per day, this sculpture will immediately become one of Houston’s most visible and iconic art installations ever.
Tree &Three Flowers is a 30-foot tall steel and bronze sculpture that is intended to signify growth and potential, to act as a magnet for tourism and commercial patronage, to inspire citizen’s creativity and to add dramatically to the community’s sense of place. It is intended to be a collaboration of the community taking ownership in its cultural and civic identity and relaying that identity on a local, national and international level to the residents, business owners, patrons and visitors that pass by every day.
Just minutes from Houston’s museum district and just blocks from Gallery Row on Colquitt, the Tree & Three Flowers sculpture echoes loudly the love of art and culture that has long been part of the Houston landscape.
The Surls on Kirby is a 50/50 public private partnership leveraging TIRZ and Management District participation as well as private donations to make this project a reality.
Become a part of the strong cultural tradition in Houston and help us relay that message to the rest of the world.
Upper Kirby Civic Arts Initiative Committee
Nancy Littlejohn, Chairman
Sydney “Buddy” Bailey
W. T. “Tommy” Dickey
Bob and Lane Schultz
Lias “Jeff” Steen