Out-of-this-world art installation at River Oaks District


River Oaks District Partners with Contemporary Arts Museum Houston On Skywaves; An Immersive And Experiential Three-Month Art Installation Paying Tribute To Apollo 11.

As part of #SpaceCityMonth, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) is pleased to be a collaborative partner with the River Oaks District to unveil Skywaves. Formally debuting on July 20, the site-specific installation-produced under the artistic direction of Matt Johns, owner of the Houston-based creative studio MATTER-will traverse the air space above the mixed-use development streetscape for three months. The public piece offers a reflective, multi-layered sculptural element, constantly changing in its interaction with air and light.

Constructed from 25,000 square feet of BoPET-the same highly-durable and versatile polyester film designed by NASA in 1964 for space blankets and now more commonly known as Mylar-Skywaves consists of over 4,000 hand-cut flags. The shape of the individual pieces is reflective of the first United States flag planted on the surface of the moon by astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. The installation will drape over a section of the district weaving into an indoor space that will be activated with periodic programming by CAMH.

"We saw this as an opportunity to blend the many parallels in the art and fashion worlds with human exploration," explained Rosalind Schurgin, CEO of Festival Companies, which manages River Oaks District. She added, "Witnessing ability to transfer key elements from varying creative disciplines to achieve these stunning, immersive results has truly been an incredible experience."
The wave-like patterns created by the Mylar film will help the installation effortlessly float in the sky. Thus, the Skywaves name is both a literal and figurative reference point pertaining to its form and function as well as its cultural touchstone.

"The opportunity to partner with the River Oaks District in producing a dynamic, experiential celebration of the lunar landing 50th anniversary has been an honor," noted Kent Michael Smith, CAMH Director of Communications and Marketing. He further emphasized, "Contemporary Arts Museum Houston-celebrating its own milestone of 70 years this year-has a proud and vibrant history of cultural and community partnerships across the Greater Houston area. It is perpetually rewarding to find new and engaging ways to bring the creative process out of the museum galleries and into the community we call home."

With its presence through mid-October, Skywaves will also mark another important date in space exploration, forever tying Houston to otherworldly endeavors. On September 12, 1962, then-President John Fitzgerald Kennedy delivered a speech at Rice University in Houston's Museum District that served as a prominent public declaration of the United States' intent to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

Kennedy's words now echo in eternity: "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

Skywaves is symbolic of JFK's mantra of going to the moon and pursuing other goals "not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Soon, Skywaves will be on full display at the River Oaks District, and all those who are curious in nature about the world and the infinite universe beyond are invited to experience it firsthand.

For more information: RiverOaksDistrict.com

Visit the exhibit today at 4444 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX