Submitted by: Steve & Judith Temple (for the Terrell Heights Neighborhood Association) 12:29am Jun 18 2012

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With its unique traffic islands, small urban scale, and walkability, kid friendly 1940’s Terrell Heights community bordering the McNay Museum can become a distinctive neighborhood city art district.

My idea to improve this place

Establish art district character by building natural hardscaped island places with local artist installations, attracting citywide visitation &also support neighborhood celebrations & family events

So that people could... 

In addition to the community enhanced garden beds and park like setting already in place on the unique traffic islands the Terrell Heights neighborhood, this proposal will transform the neighborhood’s streets and islands into pedestrian-friendly destinations. The goal is to thematically link with the McNay Art Museum by constructing settings for public art displays thus taking advantage of the walkability provided by the islands to create an identifiable residential art district of small scale social places.

Small structures consist of a kit of parts with variations of concrete slabs, walls, and tiled pylons that can sustain temporary outdoor art installations by local artists, surrounded by occasional limestone benches with quotes of famous artists carved into the vertical faces. Children will create and install the ceramic tiles in community celebrations to both engage them in art and give them authorship and pride in a part of their community. Water supply can be extended to some island constructions to create occasional water play for kids and help water the natural landscape. Solar powered illumination can create a nighttime mood with the art.

As an art district, both visitors and residents will participate in the natural environment by walking from one island art installation to another and spending social and contemplative time in connection to visiting the McNay Art Museum or just enjoying the presence of art on the islands. Public “art–walks” can be held when there is a new art installation on one or more of the islands. Public art in everyday settings helps people socially identify with artistic pursuits and recognize the value of art in everyday life. People will slow as they drive through the Terrell Heights neighborhood to observe the art from their cars.

Island constructions can help support community events such as Terrell Heights Neighborhood Association events, Elf Louise toy collections, gardening club activities, and other annual celebrations and community gatherings. Local kids’ gardening groups can invest in maintaining the community’s natural landscape.

This initiative aims to build upon the existing efforts spearheaded by the Terrell Heights Neighborhood Association, a volunteer group dedicated to the creative maintenance and sustainability of community driven initiatives.

Because I want San Antonio to be...

… conscious of public health and personal wellness by encouraging outdoor socialization with art in the everyday environment of local public/residential places as an impetus to walk, mingle, discuss, interact, and leave the digital world behind. … a city with attributes that meet the highest criteria of a public space model – Safe – Healthy – Engaged. … a place where unique neighborhood character is enhanced and connected to special amenities of the city (and in this case its local artistic talent) thereby lending its art centers greater public visibility and social significance through social interaction. … a culture in which its nationally known art institution, The McNay Art Museum, helps enhance local neighborhood places for people to unpretentiously gather and mingle with people from across the city.


Ela (Jun 18 2012)
Great idea !
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