The Houston Downtown Management District (Downtown District) has installed a new permanent public artwork in Market Square Park. Meander, a series of raised cast-concrete troughs filled with glossy pigmented resin, mimics Buffalo Bayou’s physical form and route, giving park visitors a new view of the familiar body of water. The site-specific sculpture—part seating area, part playful artwork—was conceived and created by Falon Mihalic, founder of Falon Land Studio. Meander is now permanently on view.
A landscape architect and interdisciplinary artist, Mihalic and her eponymous studio are known for traditional landscaping projects in public spaces and private gardens as well as public art installations, which are often inspired by nature.
“We had the opportunity to add a new public art installation to Market Square Park in honor of the 10th anniversary of the park’s reopening, and were drawn to Falon Mihalic for her unique approach to art and design in the outdoors,” said Angie Bertinot, Downtown District’s director
of marketing and communications. “Meander brings the bayou—Downtown’s most notable natural feature—into the park for a piece that is beautiful, fun and functional. We look forward to seeing visitors of all ages enjoy this piece for years to come.”
Situated between the dog run and the events lawn at Market Square Park, Meander’s concrete forms are set at varying heights for sitting, interaction and exploration. Adult visitors will be able to enjoy park programming or watch children from the bench-height pieces that face the lawn, while kids can explore the smaller-scale works. Poured in place rubber art surfacing around the piece features a concentric pattern that invites further discovery. At night, the serpentine structures are lit from the interior to create an alluring glow.
“At the core of my practice is a reverence for the beauty and wonderment of natural phenomena, and water movement is endlessly engaging for me as an artistic concept,” said Mihalic. “My first step in developing Meander was to create vivid watercolor drawings of meandering forms. Now those forms are manifest as three-dimensional interactive pieces of illuminated color. It’s very exciting to bring an abstract idea into built reality for the public to see, touch and experience.”
A Florida native, Mihalic received a degree in Natural Sciences from New College of Florida and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. She moved to Houston and founded Falon Land Studio in 2013, bringing expertise in visual art, environmental science and urban design to create landscapes where people can experience a sense of wonder and connection with the environment. Working across painting, sculpture, interactive public art and landscape design, she uses color, light and space to investigate the human connection to natural systems. Her public art installations have been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada.
ABOUT DOWNTOWN DISTRICT
The Downtown District was formed in 1995 for the purpose of revitalizing the urban core of the country’s fourth largest city. Over the past decade, the Downtown District has used a combination of public funds and private resources to catalyze area improvements focusing on the city blocks bordered by Interstate 10, Highway 59 and Interstate 45.