Edited from an article By Elda Silva, MYSA.COM
The city of San Antonio unveiled a $1 million public art project Tuesday afternoon at a ribbon cutting for the Convention Center expansion. Titled “Liquid Crystal,” the large-scale interactive sculptural tower by the London-based Jason Bruges Studio is located in the north entry atrium lobby.
For the neighboring Alteza Residences above the Grand Hyatt, the opening marked a significant milestone in the renovation of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. “Our residents are thrilled to be surrounding by new and exciting public art,” says Dustin David, Sales Manager at Alteza. “Between the Convention Center, Hemisfair and the Chihuly pieces in the Grand Hyatt, every direction you turn is something amazing.”
The piece is 30 feet tall. It’s made up of stacked pyramid-shaped modules with 3,510 LCD interactive panels that create a digital fountain effect in response to the number of people and activity in the atrium.
Artist Jason Bruges said he visited San Antonio multiple times over the past two years to create the site-specific work. The rippling effect across the surface of the piece is evocative of water in keeping with the kind of setting of waterways and riverside River Walk that we have here in San Antonio,” Bruges said.
The sculptural tower is one of two million-dollar public artworks commissioned as part of the $300 million construction project. The other is “Cactus,” a 900-foot architectural frieze by Los-Angeles based artist Christian Moeller that wraps around the exterior of the expanded Convention Center. Visible from Interstate 37 and the Alamodome, the artwork depicts a field of native cacti.
The Convention Center opening makes way for the next phase of development on the project. Later this spring, demolition is scheduled for a large portion of the old Convention Center creating green space which will be used for the expansion of Hemisfair.
Another $1 million was spent on renovating and relocating existing artwork, bringing the total for the project to $3 million – or 1 percent of the overall budget — the most money ever spent on public art for a single city project.