Street Art

East End to Get Artsy Bus Shelters and Rubbish Bins

The East End revival continues. This time with a "dream team of famous public works artists" who will transform the area with out-of-the-box benches and trash cans.

The Greater East End District recently announced that Anthony Thompson Shumate, Gary Sweeney, METALAB and the Art Guys (a.k.a. Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing) are working on pedestrian-centric streetscape projects that will also include public transportation stops, information kiosks and street signage.

Multimedia artist Shumate tells Art Attack that he's in charge with "creating creative bus shelters, bike racks and trash cans." His past public-art works have included Delicious Douglas, a piece at Buffalo Bayou ArtPark (located at the Sabine Street bridge between Allen Parkway and Memorial Drive) that featured 450 food cans, hand-engraved can openers and plywood that the public slowly disassembled over five weeks.

"The intent is to have some kind of iconic art-related symbols in the form of bus shelters, solar lighting and way-finding symbols," says Dwayne Bennett of the Greater East End District.

"When people come to the East End, they can relate to that art piece as being something that's symbolic to locate you or send you to a destination you want to reach as opposed to just having a mundane sign somewhere saying 'Go to H-E-B,'" Bennett adds.

Bennett says that the initiative, which will incorporate functionality with Houston history and social commentary, is happening thanks to a five-million-dollar federal stimulus grant as well as some money from the Houston Arts Alliance's Creative Economy Project Grant.

The individual pieces, which won't be unveiled for at least six months, will post up on Navigation, Sampson and York as well as alongside Metro's under-construction East End light-rail line.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen