Some of the most recognizable art in our community happens to be created by a nationally recognized Houston artist. Dixie Friend Gay is best known for her public works of art featuring nature and the outdoors. In The Woodlands, Dixie has done a phenomenal job of creating mosaic pieces that are eyecatching for everyone and complimentary to the area.
TREASURES FROM GRANDMA'S PURSE
Everyone knows that a grandmother's purse is full of treasures. But in The Woodlands, grandma left her purse on the bench, and it magically became a beautiful work of art!
“I collaborate with other people, architects, and designers to create something that goes beyond what I would create in a studio,” explains Friend Gay.
The Grandma’s Purse expansive sculpture is located in Waterway Square and is made of terrazzo and bronze cast in glass. It features a purse, and everything you can think of that would be inside. Embedded into the terrazzo are objects like scissors, sunglasses, crayons, a camera, toy cars, and even a glass hammer. Frogs, lizards, and other creatures have also taken over the area. You’ll also find a jelly donut, gum, candy, and a frozen popsicle. The splash pad addition makes for a great spot to cool off and children can enjoy a summer day or evening searching for hidden objects as they splash about.
Due to its likeness to a real leather purse from a distance, locals often play jokes on their visiting family and friends, acting as if they have spotted someone's lost or forgotten belongings. This bronzed bag is a well-known April Fools joke that continues year-round.
AT WATER'S EDGE
Under the Waterway Avenue bridge between Grandma’s Purse and the Goose’s Acre Pub is a large mosaic installation. The nine-panel display At Water's Edge features colorful nature mosaic collages displayed inside the tunnel.
This collection of wildlife mosaics is comprised of 500,000 byzantine glass pieces grouped to form plant and animal wildlife commonly seen in southeast texas. The many shade and iridescent tiles reflect the nearby water, further connecting this piece of public art to nature and The Woodlands Waterway.
Step indoors to view a magical mosaic piece that gives the feeling of being inside the earth. Strata is comprised of hand-made ceramic tiles, cast glass, granite, and marble which offer a difference in texture and design that almost seem lifelike. The 700 square foot installation includes handmade fossils, precious stones, amber, oil, and water which are embedded through the various layers of what appears to be rock and sediments giving a nod to the importance of oil exploration and the concentration of oil-related businesses in The Woodlands.
If you've flown United Airlines into George Bush Intercontinental Airport on your way to The Woodlands, you may have passed by this distinct art element. Located on the ground level of the connector walkway from the A/B garage and Terminal B, this 8-foot tall and 73-foot wide mural celebrates Houston's bayou system and its natural beauty. The serpentine wall and 5 adjacent columns echo the bayou theme as you walk to and from the terminal. One and a half million pieces of glass were used in the year-long process of creating this piece, with the work of four full-time artisans. You'll notice 40 cast bronze native creatures inserted throughout the floor as you walk by. It's understandable that most airport visits are traditionally rushed as you hurry to board a flight or reach your final destination, but take a moment to enjoy this massive art piece.
Whether you are an expert of the arts or a child playing and just attempting to find a hidden object within the mosaics, it's safe to say we can all have an appreciation for the beauty that Dixie has added to the area with her remarkable artistic skills. Dixie Friend Gay has placed her mark on The Woodlands with these larger than life mosaic art pieces.
Learn more about public art installations in The Woodlands.