- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A $1.66 million art project consisting of several hundred geometric sculptures along a walkway will open at the Austin airport in fall 2015.

The Austin American-Statesman (https://bit.ly/Z4EjCI ) reports the money will go toward the sculptures and a steel grid along the 400-foot walkway built on the third floor of the existing parking garage to connect the terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to a new facility for renting cars.

The art project, called “Uplifted Ground,” will include hundreds of rectangular concrete shapes in earth tones built to resemble Texas limestone. Some will have abstract aerial views of the state’s landscape, including trails made by livestock, embedded in them.

The project won’t cost taxpayers because a city ordinance requires 2 percent of the construction costs of a city building to be used for artwork. Airport spokesman Jim Halbrook said that the structure - called the consolidated rental car facility - was financed with bonds paid for by rental car companies.

He said the city will own the building, which is being built on city land.

Michael Singer Inc., a Vermont company, is creating the artwork. The company will receive up to $1.2 million for the artwork, with the rest of the money going to a local contractor who will make and install the open air steel-grid ceiling to suspend the installation.

That makes it far more expensive than any of the works completed so far under Austin’s Art in Public Places program. Previously, some of the pricier projects included the $244,000 “Showershade” by Chris Doyle at the Public Safety Training Campus.

More high-dollar art is on the way though: a $1.7 million art project is planned as part of the redevelopment of the former Seaholm Power Plant site, where the city is chipping in with street extensions and improvements, a public plaza and the main Seaholm building.

At some point the city will also select artists to design $2 million in public artwork for the airport entrance project and $1 million in public art for the airport terminal expansion project, said Carrie Brown, the city’s Art in Public Places coordinator.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, https://www.statesman.com

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