a place to meander

Immersive new bayou-themed artwork takes Houstonians down meandering trail downtown

Immersive new artwork takes Houstonians down meandering trail downtown

Meander Houston Market Square Park
Meander is meant to mimic Buffalo Bayou. Photo by Morris Malakoff
Meander Houston Market Square Park
Kids are encouraged to wade in the works. Photo by Todd Manning
Meander Houston Market Square Park
Photo by Todd Manning
Meander Houston Market Square Park
The installation is a new feature of Market Square Park. Photo by Morris Malakoff
Meander Houston Market Square Park
Meander Houston Market Square Park
Meander Houston Market Square Park
Meander Houston Market Square Park

Just in time for some safe and distanced holiday exploration, a new, immersive, and interactive artwork has flowed into downtown’s Market Square Park. Appropriately titled Meander, the new installation is a series of raised concrete troughs filled with glossy, pigmented resin, which mimic Buffalo Bayou’s form and route.

Consider this a way for visitors to traverse the bayou without getting their feet wet.

The site-specific sculpture, which is part seating area and part playful artwork, was conceived and created by Falon Mihalic, who is founder of Falon Land Studio. Milhalic, who created Meander for permanent display at the park , is well-regarded for traditional landscaping projects in public spaces and private gardens as well as public art  installations, which are often inspired by nature.

Working across painting, sculpture, interactive public art and landscape design, she uses color, light and space to investigate the  human connection to natural systems, according to a press release. Her public art installations have been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada.

Meander is set between the dog run and the events lawn at Market Square Park. Its concrete pieces are set at varying heights for sitting, interaction and exploration. Adults can enjoy park programming or watch children from the bench-height pieces that face the lawn, while kids can explore the smaller-scale works. Structurally, poured-in-place rubber art surfacing around the piece features a concentric pattern that invites further discovery, per press materials.

At night, the winding, serpentine structures are lit from the interior to create an alluring glow, calling to mind moonlight on the bayou’s waters. 

“At the core of my practice is a reverence for the beauty and wonderment of natural  phenomena, and water movement is endlessly engaging for me as an artistic concept,” said  Mihalic, in a statement. “My first step in developing Meander was to create vivid watercolor drawings of  meandering forms. Now those forms are manifest as three-dimensional interactive pieces of  illuminated color. It’s very exciting to bring an abstract idea into built reality for the public to  see, touch and experience.”