an artful stroll in the park

Houston's Buffalo Bayou Park toasts 5-year anniversary with artful, can't-miss events

Buffalo Bayou Park toasts 5-year anniversary with can't-miss events

News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, night procession
A scene from the Buffalo Bayou Park opening celebration in 2015.  Photo by Katya Horner
Carmen Herrera: Untitled Estructura (Red), 1962/2018
Estructuras Monumentales will be on view in the Park from October until April 2021.  Photo by Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund, NY 
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
Urban Soul Dance Company will perform a dance within the Cistern that will be filmed and streamed.  Photo by Katya Horner
Buffalo Bayou Park Explore sculpture
Buffalo Bayou Park has become a place of exploration and renewal for Houstonians and visitors from around the world.  Photo by Clifford Pugh
News, Shelby, Buffalo Bayou Park opening, Oct. 2015, night procession
Carmen Herrera: Untitled Estructura (Red), 1962/2018
Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern
Buffalo Bayou Park Explore sculpture

Houston Grand Opera singers make beautiful music on a pontoon boat. Urban Souls dancers kinetically explore the Houston Cistern and Da Camera lets a jazz quartet loose at Lost Lake. These are just some of the ways Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) will spend October celebrating the five-year anniversary of Buffalo Bayou Park’s opening.

Calling this month-long party an “Artful Anniversary,” the Buffalo Bayou team hopes to spread the beauty and joy of the park to Houstonians there in the moment and those staying socially distant at home.

Buffalo Bayou Park certainly deserves to throw itself and the city a celebratory anniversary. In the past five years, the park has earned 20 national and international awards for design, community contributions, innovations, public/private partnership, environmental protection, and enhancement and financial viability. All the while, it’s become a place of rejuvenation and renewal for Houstonians in their ordinary daily life or in extraordinary times like after hurricanes — and even during a pandemic.

So, mark your calendars for these main events to catch in the park or virtually online.

Knitscape” by Urban Yarnage at the Rosemont Bridge (October 3-31)
The ad-hoc group of Houston knitters and crocheters have created some surprising and wondrous street and urban nature “yarn bomb” art in the past, so we can’t wait to see what the nature-themed knitted art they produce to commemorates Buffalo Bayou’s ecological diversity. We’re betting this bridge work will make for a perfect Instagram and Twitter spot to hashtag your visit to the park.

“Songs on the Water” (streaming October 10)
Singers from Houston Grand Opera will float upon the bayou waters to perform on the BBP pontoon boat-turned-stage. Audiences can watch and listen to this concert and cruise vicariously from the comfort of their own homes.

“Take Me to the Water” an Urban Souls Dance Company performance at the Cistern (streaming October 17)
Known for its daring choreography the award-winning company, Urban Souls Dance Company, makes a literal plunge deep into the park with a dance piece performed within the Buffalo Bayou Cistern. In 2012 Buffalo Bayou Partnership took over management of the Cistern, the nearly century old, then unused water storage facility, and turned it into one of Houston’s most stunning and startling, visual art spaces. Now dancers get a chance to make performance art within the massive and haunting underground chamber.

Da Camera Performances throughout Buffalo Bayou Park (streaming October 24)
These short music concerts will then be complied into film for Houstonians to view from home, with a string quartet at Anthony Shumate’s Listen sculpture, a jazz quintet at Lost Lake and a harp solo at the Hobby Family Pavilion at The Water Works.

“Estructuras Monumentales” by Carmen Herrera at the Fondren Foundation Meadow (October 22, 2020-April 23, 2021)
Buffalo Bayou Park becomes only the second space in the world to present this exhibition of four new sculptures by the 105 year old Herrera, a genius of the abstract and minimalist movement. The vibrant and enormous aluminum structures will likely bring the images from her abstract geometric paintings to three dimensional life.

“We are honored to host this exhibition by Carmen Herrera, one of our world’s most important living artists, and to collaborate with Public Art Fund and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in celebrating Herrera’s legacy,” said Judy Nyquist, BBP Board Member and Co-Chair of the organization’s Public Art Committee in a statement about the exhibition.

October will be the best of times to take a walk in the park. 

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