New York artist Donald Lipski stands in front of his public art piece, “The Cloud,” at the Schuster roundabout. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP Communications
The El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) is proud to announce that The Cloud art sculpture has been recognized as one of the nation’s Outstanding Public Arts Projects for 2016 by the Americans for the Arts.
The interactive sculpture, created by Donald Lipski, is one of 49 outstanding public art projects recognized through the Public Art Network’s Year in Review program.
The artwork for the Spur 1966 roundabout speaks to both motorists and pedestrians moving through the road and sidewalk that comprise the installation site. Inspiration for The Cloud was drawn from the iconic Bhutanese architecture used prominently throughout the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus. The artwork pays reverence to both the country of Bhutan, also known as the “Kingdom in the Clouds,” and to the City of El Paso’s open skies, which feature equally impressive cloud formations.
“In the past 10 years, El Paso’s public art program has installed iconic art pieces throughout the city. The goal of our program, and public art, is to reach everybody and bring art into public spaces. The Cloud floating over the UTEP campus has become a landmark for students as they walk through campus, as well as for citizens and visitors as they drive by I-10,” said Public Art Program Supervisor Aidee Cosme.
The artist spent months searching for a picture of the perfect cloud that was then rendered into individual, kinetic panels. Thousands of hinged, stainless steel flaps make up The Cloud. When wind fills the atmosphere, the flaps participate in a kinetic illusion mimicking the movement of actual clouds.
Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, honors 49 outstanding public arts projects created in 2016 through the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. The works were chosen from entries from across the country and were recently recognized at Americans for the Arts’ 2017 Annual Convention in San Francisco.