Waco celebrates I-35 Globes public art project representing the city

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - When you drive by the underpass of 4th and 5th streets in Waco, you’ll see new illuminating artwork representing Waco.

The city partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation, Creative Waco, Texas Commission on the Arts adding six new globes that tell the story of the city.

The globes represent Waco - from local industry to the community, its wildlife, and even the architecture.

Local artists, Andrea La Valleur-Purvis and Morgan Eyring, are the brains behind these shadow casting structures.

“We responded to a RFP put out by Creative Waco to design six globes that were reminiscent of Waco history, or the natural surroundings, the community of Waco, the character of Waco, how Waco shows up in the world. Just kind of the unique aspects of this town,” said Eyering.

The pair were a part of the crew as well. Although adding the structures during the summer heat was difficult, the two say it was well worth it.

“During our production process we had to work upside down to get into certain parts of the structure,” said La Valleur-Purvis.

Eyring said if you want a unique art piece, you’ll have a unique process.

“There were some different processes and utilizing a lot of different tools throughout the process to bring these things from empty globes to these really beautifully designed pieces,” said Eyring.

While the city celebrates the globes’ debut, it wasn’t easy getting to this point.

The artists said the original color palette was a variety of wildflowers but when they started to install them, they got some pushback from the community.

So, the artists and the city decided on a blue bonnet color palette, which represents the state’s flower.

Public art officials said these revisions cost $2700 per globe.

“So, we picked six different colors to represent that worked well together in of in itself as a series of artwork but also with this space. And everybody loved that idea,” said La Valleur-Purvis.

Creativity and color liven up spaces, but it’s even better when both draw more community.

The location is where there’s frequent drivers and cyclists, sermons from Church Under the Bridge and near Baylor University.

“Tens of thousands of other people also get to experience a moment of something different that’s something fun to look at as they’re either going to work, going to Baylor, or going about their daily business,” said La Valleur-Purvis.