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‘The Cloud’ Honored as One of the Outstanding Public Arts Projects in the Nation

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.

‘The Cloud’ rises this morning over UTEP’s newest roundabout

The Cloud, the City of El Paso’s newest public art piece, is nearing completion and will be lifted into place in the Spur 1966 roundabout at 11 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2016.

As the structure is lifted into place, parts of Schuster will be closed. Eastbound traffic on Schuster will be detoured via Sun Bowl to Glory Road. The road closures will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until installation is completed.

The Cloud by Donald Lipski is composed of thousands of small steel flaps that will move with the breeze. When complete, it will float over the roundabout that also serves as a below ground pedestrian pathway. Inspiration for the piece was drawn from the prominent hallmark of Bhutanese architecture that the UTEP is commonly known for.

The artwork is an abstract gesture to the city of Bhutan, which is also known as the Kingdom in the Clouds, and to the City of El Paso’s spectacular cloud formations.

Mr. Lipski is a renowned sculptor from New York who has made public artworks all over the country including Denver, Colorado, and San Antonio, Texas. His poetic combinations of existing materials, energetic installations, and colorful public sculptures have become iconic symbols for the places in which they are located. His works help to enliven the space, both visually, and symbolically.

The Cloud was created as part of the City of El Paso’s Public Art Program. A percentage of each capital program is dedicated to public art. Since its adoption, the program has worked to integrate public artworks throughout the City of El Paso.

UTEP parking lot to close temporarily to install public artwork

The University of Texas at El Paso will close the P-4 parking lot off Schuster Avenue on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. The closure will help create a safe environment for the installation of a City of El Paso public art project in the center of the Schuster roundabout on the south side of campus.

The installation of “The Cloud,” a project by New York-based artist Donald Lipski, is expected to take about a week, weather permitting. The artwork is made up of three elevated panels made from thousands of small steel flaps that will move with the wind.

Motorists assigned to the P-4 lot may use the nearby P-1, P-2 or P-3 lots during construction, but they must display their P-4 parking permit. (See a UTEP campus map for parking lot locations.)

To read details about the artwork, click HERE

Author: UTEP

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