10 Amazing Urban Transformations: Parking Garages as Artworks
April 19, 2018
April 19, 2018
Are you bored with drab, gray parking garages without any distinguishing characteristics or visual appeal? If so, you aren’t alone and some groups are taking steps to change this. Artists around the country are working with city planners to transform bland concrete parking decks into showcases for vibrant murals and art installations. A perfect example is this mural created by French public artist Roti for the Green Street Parking Garage in the Finger Lakes city of Ithaca, New York.
The Village of Rosemont, Illinois has been a major force in public space beautification and their public art initiative, headed by award-winning artist Rahmaan Statik, has transformed the Williams Street Garage into a dazzling showcase for 40 wall murals. “Grand Imperial” (pictured) by Statik and assistant artist Andy Bellemo pays homage to European art during the Renaissance period and is an innovative mix of spray paint and glass mosaic on concrete.
Among the 40 wall murals that adorn the facades, exteriors and interiors of the Williams Street Garage in the Village of Rosemont, Illinois is “Jewel of the Nile,” a work that is inspired by the ancient art of the Mediterranean. Lead artist Rahmaan Statik and assistant artist Andy Bellemo created this colorful mural from spray paint and glass mosaic.
One of the most impressive visual transformations of a parking garage is “Parking in Color,” a large scale environmental artwork of multi-color glass that highlights the 11-story Fort Worth Convention Center parking deck. Created by PhenomenArts, Inc. under Christopher Janney’s direction, the installation is also remarkable for its ever-changing sound design which incorporates environmental sounds indigenous to the Fort Worth, Texas region like crickets, birds and other eco-sounds.
A longtime advocate for promoting the work of artists in public spaces, Miami is a prime destination for tourists who enjoy street art. One of the most exciting new projects is The Museum Garage (pictured), which will host six different facades under the direction of the Miami Design District and a different artist will be commissioned for each facade.
How do you turn an ugly concrete garage into a thing of beauty? The city planners of Lexington, Kentucky decided to revitalize the downtown area by renovating the Helix Garage and transforming it into a large scale public art installation. Decorative stainless steel panels are illuminated by an elaborate LED lighting system installed by Vincent Lighting Systems which adds visual splash to the structure.
Over the years the City Art Programs Division of Tampa, Florida have been instrumental in revitalizing their community with commissioned public art. Some of the most striking examples include work by local artist BASK whose wall mural “Believe” is part of an art exhibition entitled “Stay Curious.” The work has revitalized the William F. Poe Parking Garage and made it a scenic attraction for visitors.
Another Tampa-based artist whose work is having a significant impact on the city’s thriving art scene is TES-ONE whose creativity is on full display in the “Stay Curious” exhibition on the walls of the William F. Poe Parking Garage.
Fort Worth, Texas pays homage to its rich history with a series of glass and porcelain mosaic tile murals on the exterior of the city’s Western Heritage Parking Garage. The artwork by visual artist Mike Mandel, which includes the murals “Cowboy” and “Cowgirl” (pictured), is an important addition to this cultural district which includes the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum.
Another mover and shaker in the public art space world is CityPlace in West Palm Beach, Florida where Tokyo-based artist Frankie Cihi has decorated a parking garage with a half mile mural of hand-painted geometric color abstractions entitled “Hybrid Infinity.”