Client: Waller Creek Conservancy
Location: Austin, TX, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $75,000
Ingrid Spencer, Curator and Director
Jason Sowell, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin
Robert Gay, Lucy Begg
Matt Musiel, Bill Twitchel, Loren Tilton, Geno Garzo
Andrei Klypin, Connor Finn, Jon Davidson
Burton Baldridge, Michael Hargens, Brian Bedrosian
Rachel Tepper, Alex Ramirez, Jessica Zarowitz
Murray Legge, Deborah Lewis, Andrea Legge, Travis Cook
Legge Lewis Legge
Creek Show is a temporary architecture/landscape architecture/art installation series created to bring attention to the soon-to-be-transformed Waller Creek corridor in downtown Austin TX. Creek Show created Light Night, which was five site-specific light-based installations along a 4-block section of Waller Creek. Three architecture firms, one landscape architecture firm, one landscape architect and professor participated. Over 1,000 people came to the event on Thursday, November 13, 2014. The installations were up for the weekend.
Creek Show is based on bringing these types of collaborative works into the creek to inform, delight, and educate people about an abandoned area of Austin that will soon be redeveloped. Creek Show now has a logo, an identity, and a successful inaugural event! The series will continue to involve architects, landscape architects, and artists by commissioning these types of installations, and the temporary works will be site specific and relate to the creek itself.
Ingrid Spencer directed and curated Creek Show—choosing the participating designers and keeping them on track. Each of the five teams collaborated by meeting regularly to help define the program for Creek Show, and working together they planned the process and the event. Each of the five teams came up with their own design idea, and while each individual team created it, they all supported and helped each other along the way, making this a very positive, collaborative experience.
Waller Creek is a 1.5-mile creek that runs through downtown Austin, and because it lies in a flood plain, 29 acres of surrounding land could not be developed. The city is digging a flood control tunnel, and the Waller Creek Conservancy was created to be stewards of the area. Michael van Valkenburgh and Thomas Phifer won a competition to plan the re-develop which includes a series of five parks—but they can't start until the tunnel is completed—years away. Creek Show bridges that gap, bringing people to the creek for a cultural experience—a precursor of the excitement to come.