Houston Artist Dixie Friend Gay Honored Today at Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Minneapolis
HOUSTON, Texas June 14, 2019—Americans for the Arts today honored Dixie Friend Gay for two different projects among 50 outstanding public arts projects created in 2018 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled this morning at Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis. This is the 18th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public art works.
Friend Gay, who has been honored by this organization for her unique style of work in 2002, 2008, 2014, 2016 and 2018, was selected this year for a mosaic in Midtown Houston entitled “Wild Wonderland,” as well as a mural at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX., called “Silent Communications.”
Additionally she has been named Artist of the Year by the American Institute of Architects, Houston Chapter in 2006 and Texas Artist of the Year by the Texas Commission of the Arts in 2003. She has public art commissions displayed in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Galveston, Indianapolis, Miami, Beaumont, Covington LA., and Bremerton, WA., a well as in many museums and galleries. In 2002 she created the award-winning 73-foot-long byzantine glass mosaic mural of Houston’s bayous at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
“My work celebrates the mystery and power of nature. I value the power of art to move one emotionally and physically, striving to create art that access the collective unconscious,” said Friend Gay. Currently she is working on two projects in the city of Austin – one through Capital Metro and another in the Mueller area near downtown. In addition she has been commissioned to do a project for Fort Worth Public Art and a mosaic project in a new airport.
The Jurors for the Public Art in Review said of “Wild Wonderland” “This impeccable craft, and the way it makes you linger and stay with the space… This is one of the ones you want to get close up to as well as look at from a distance… The detail in this work and the way it is transformative is really amazing.” They also had kind words to say of “Silent Communications” as well. “These are generational works, to be celebrated and visited by people to come… The craft involved, the way the space is being altered is just incredible… We should all have elevators like this, it’s amazing”
“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”
The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed on this page and will be displayed throughout Annual Convention. Two independent public art experts—artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Aaron Ott, Curator of Public Art at Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York—discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions in selecting this year’s choices for the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2018.
The complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 50 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.
Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.