Texas Rising was recently installed on the Texas Tech University campus! After many months of planning, design and fabrication, Texas Rising is complete with five large stars rising out of the ground and 2 star-shaped chandeliers bracketing the courtyard.
From the beginning, we involved the Texas Tech community in the design to make the artwork a deeper reflection of the identity and spirit of the University. Early in the project, we invited various departments, representatives and students to work with us to develop the patterns and imagery that would be cut into the faces of the sculptures. We developed a series of patterns that evoke Texas Tech’s roots and its aspirations for the future. We also included secret symbols of school pride in each star. Many of us worked to bring the stars to life: Adan Banuelos created the 2D drawings, Josh Gill designed the 3D structure with intricate metallic finger joints, while Kim Kwasny and Lucas Conrad TIG welded the structure. Josh, Kim and Lucas worked hard to install all the stars in time for the opening event.
The opening event that occurred on August 29th, 2014 in the West Village Dormitory courtyard was a great success! Many students showed up (and not just for the free food!!). It was the start of a big football weekend and many alums were visiting. All joined in to welcome the sculptures to the new dormitory courtyard. Joe and Blessing spoke about the sculptures and led a tour of the ’secret’ symbols in each sculpture. The Saddle Tramps and the school’s mascot, Raider Red, also joined in to help raise school spirit and get students excited about the new school year.
The celebration lasted well into the evening, so everyone could see the complete day to night transformation of the sculptures and the West Village Dormitory courtyard as a whole. We were pleased to know that the artwork was very well received by Texas Tech faculty, staff, students and the many alumni that were on hand! We expect that Texas Rising become a fun meeting place for students by offering shade from the sun during the day or light and colorful interaction well into the night.