For Houstonians who use light rail, Main Street Square is often the jumping off point for Downtown destinations. Similarly, Houstonians who work Downtown know Main Street Square as a pedestrian plaza which affords a change of pace and scenery from the office. Thirteen years after its launch, and in advance of high-profile national events taking place in Houston, Main Street Square is getting a makeover. Landscaping and hardscaping will get a new look, and most exciting, a series of temporary art installations will pepper the blocks between the 900 and 1100 blocks of Main Street.
With the Downtown District at the helm, this new public art initiative is called Art Blocks. From lessons learned about public art’s capacity to awaken change in areas that have not yet realized their full potential, Art Blocks strives to enliven Main Street Square. This inaugural project by the Downtown District Public Art Committee, supported by the professional services of the Weingarten Art Group, includes a series of site-specific installations by internationally lauded artists and designers such as Patrick Renner, Jessica Stockholder and New York-based collective YesYesNo – some making their Houston debut.
The temporary installations compliment the permanent public art that call Main Street Square their home, including Floyd Newsum’s vibrant Planter and Stems, an installation that was part of the 2004 streetscape project and restored and reinstalled on the 900 block of Main this past March.
Pop up performances, interactive experiences and community festivals will add to a schedule of events that complements the spirit of the major public art commissions.
The public art displays on Main Street Square will begin in the spring of 2016 and remain on view through 2017 to coincide with the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship (April 2016) and Super Bowl LI (February 2017).