What tiny town in North Texas employs an all-volunteer staff to place and promote Public Art? The envy of many cities, Addison places public art in harmony with its community. Addison Texas is a rare find among small towns. One of the many things that set the town apart is the placement of public art throughout the town. In addition, Addison places the artwork, primarily sculpture, in a way that is strategic, selective and impactful.
In the early 1990’s the Town of Addison selected “Blueprints at Addison Circle” from among contest entrants. The State of Texas had extended the Dallas Tollway North past Addison, to Frisco. As a result, Addison Town leaders needed a ‘hook’ to promote the town as a destination for commuters. Thus the idea of building a multi-use ‘downtown’ with a city center and green spaces, was born. This to differentiate Addison and draw business to Addison retailers, restaurants and services. The plan called for an ‘exclamation mark’ at Addison Circle. 23 artists from around the world submitted proposals.
The winner, “Blueprints at Addison Circle” consists of a vessel with a branching pattern of a grove of oak trees, that encompasses and cantilevers out over the circle. Then the designers took actual blueprints from Addison’s municipal buildings, parks, bridges, and water pumping facilities to create an experiential piece of public art that reflects the community.
Another example where Addison places public art in harmony with its community is a highly visible piece of sculpture at the corner of Arapaho and Addison Roads. It is an ode to the original Addison Cotton Gin. Installed in 2015, “A Profound Secret” uses pieces from the original cotton gin facility. The cotton gin manufacturer had built it in 1902, about 150 yards south of the sculpture’s location. The title of the art piece comes from a passage in a letter to his father, written by Eli Whitney. Until Whitney secured a patent for his cotton gin design he had asked his father to keep “a profound secret”.
A third example is the impressive “Light and Energy” piece created by Colorado artist Chris Byars. It consists of three iconic pieces in primary colors. Also, each piece is 24 feet high and weighs 1750 pounds. Workers originally installed the piece at an Addison office building. Building management then de-commissioned the piece. The Town of Addison stored it for many years. They then restored it in 2013 and placed it strategically with landscaping and lighting. Since the sculpture is next to Les Lacs Linear Park, the lines of the sculpture are consistent and impactful.
The Arbor Foundation of Addison Places Public Art in Harmony with Its Community
None of these impressive pieces would exist if not for the Addison Arbor Foundation (AAF). The AAF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It promotes and enhances natural environments within the Town of Addison through landscaping, public art, and education. Finally, you must take the Addison Public Art self-tour and discover the strength, beauty, and harmony of the public art in Addison, Texas.